The update created a firestorm of criticism on Twitter and in the media, with paying customers openly worrying if they had to shut down their accounts just to keep everything from their saved banks statements to old love letters private.
Yes, You Can Still Opt Out
While the FAQ seemed to leave little doubt that Evernote users could do nothing to prevent company employees from accessing their data, the company has since updated its FAQs to indicate that users can, in fact, opt out of the research program.
“We believe we can make our users even more productive with technologies such as machine learning that will allow you to automate functions you now have to do manually, like creating to-do lists or putting together travel itineraries,” O´Neill said. “Machine learning might sound like science fiction where computers make their own decisions. In reality, machines still need a human to check on them. To get there, Evernote data scientists need to do spot checks as they develop the technology. We’ll introduce this change on January 23, 2017, but you control whether or not your data is used for this purpose at any time.”