Is Evernote Selling My Data?

Is Evernote being evil? Or is Meko just really clever? Or is it just a strange coincidence?

Here’s my story.

A couple of weeks ago, my lovely wife brought me home a can of Meko coconut water. It’s really great stuff. Like… seriously. I had a foodgasm.

meko evernote evil

A week later I was in the supermarket and wanted to buy more. But I couldn’t remember what brand it was. Nothing in the coconut water section looked familiar, so I bought one can of two separate brands – neither was Meko. Both tasted AWFUL.

The next day, my lovely wife bought me another can of Meko. This time I snapped a picture of it into Evernote so I’d remember the next time I was doing the shopping.

A couple of days later, I’m in Facebook and I am presented with an ad for the Meko Facebook group.

meko facebook ad

Coincidence? Or did Evernote let Meko know that I snapped a photo of their product?

I brought up this issue this morning on Laurel Papworth’s hangout, and a few of the viewers pointed me to Evernote’s privacy policy.

It states (in part):

Does Evernote Share My Personal Information or Content?
Evernote is not in the business of selling or renting user information, and we only disclose information when:

  • We have your explicit consent to share the information.

  • We need to share your information with service providers who process data on our behalf in order to operate the Service and/or complete your payment transactions; and these providers are subject to strict data protection requirements.

  • We need to share your information with service providers to fulfill your product or service requests, including sales, delivery and support for certain products from the Evernote Market.

  • We need to share your information with resellers of a Premium Service or product in order to ensure accuracy in the payment for such Premium Service or product, the management of your account and the delivery of your purchase and related support services.

  • We believe it is necessary to investigate potential violations of our Terms of Service, to enforce those Terms of Service, or where we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud or potential threats against persons, property or the systems on which we operate the Service.

  • We determine that the access, preservation or disclosure of information is required or permitted by law to protect the rights, property or personal safety of Evernote and users of the Service, or is required to comply with applicable laws, including compliance with warrants, court orders or other legal process.

  • We do so in connection with the sale or reorganization of all or part of our business, as permitted by applicable law.

So I don’t think they have a policy of sharing the content of my notes with advertisers.

Was this all a coincidence? Or am I Meko’s target audience? Did their Facebook targeting work?

I’m a 43 year-old cigar-smoking father of three. I doubt I’m their target audience. Now, if it was my little sister (okay, she’s 35, but she’s still little IMHO) who does yoga, works for a circus and lives in Byron Bay – sure. She’s the target. Me? Not so much.

I live in Evernote. It’s perhaps my favourite technology brand (or competes for number one with Apple). I’m an (unoffficial) Evernote evangelist and have been since I started using it in 2008. I’ve got ~10,000 notes in it. I’d be very upset and concerned if they are being evil.

Laurel’s opinion seemed to be that I’m just naïve if I don’t think they are selling my data.

What do you think?

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Under-rated Alice Cooper classic from 1983.

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