Despite trying to explain that it was anonymised and for the purposes of machine learning to improve their service the damage was done and they had to retract the planned change.
If it wasn’t for so many eyeballs on Evernote due to its large userbase this could have easily slipped through, something that, judging by people’s responses to the news would be unfavourable.
In fact, these kinds of changes to Privacy Policies and Terms of Services happen all the time, but unless it’s on the scale of a product like Evernote it doesn’t get reported on, and most people never notice such changes.
At least, in this case, Evernote warned its users about upcoming changes. Some companies are good at notifying their users. Others, not so much.
When running products that handle user data I’d like to know if the services I use to deliver such a product change their Terms of Services or Privacy Policies.
If my product relies on 3rd party services (Office365, Alibaba, MailChimp etc.) or passes user data the 3rd party services then I want to know when those terms or policies change.
Heck, even personally I’d want to know if Google started selling my search history to the devil in addition to advertisers.