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Evernote is watching

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Posted by Paul Korm
Jul 31, 2015 at 04:32 PM


The Evernote web clipper in Safari has a creepy new feature: “Show Evernote content related to my web searches”.  The feature can be turned off in an “option”—but I suspect that all that’s being turned off is the “show ... content” piece, and Evernote is still observing web searches.  None of this is a surprise here in 2015—our computers observe us in unknowable ways and send data to lots of collectors far and wide. 

The NSA has nothing on what we’ve meekly allowed commercial enterprises to do to us.  Or, perhaps it’s just paranoia. 

Nah.  It’s not paranoia.  I don’t think I’ll kill my Evernote account because of this—after all, the search engines I use know and sell this data for a price.  It’s just part of the creepiness of modern computing.  Which is the reason I’d never take notes in a web-based environment.  Even if my notes were merely about the beauty of Fourier transforms. 


Posted by Garland Coulson
Aug 1, 2015 at 03:28 AM


I am not an Evernote fan (converted to OneNote) but I actually liked the feature where Evernote shows me some of my notes that match my search when I search Google. It didn’t feel creepy to me, rather it reminded me of great atricles I have clipped or notes I made. Very useful and I miss it.


Posted by Andy Brice
Aug 3, 2015 at 05:44 PM


As a vendor I can confirm that, yes, we do have access to a lot of information on website visitors (your IP address, what website you came from, what pages you looked at, how long you spent on each page etc). But:
-It is generally anonymised or only tied to an IP address.
-Google now usually encrypt your search, so we can’t see what terms you were searching on when you found us.
-We’re only interested in this information in so far as it can help us improve our sales. Usually that means looking at aggregated data e.g. A/B testing which of 2 alternative versions of the download page gets the most downloads.
-Any self-respecting company has a privacy policy means they can’t give or sell this data to another company.

Andy Brice


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