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Privacy Evaluation for Evernote

Last updated January 10, 2020

Overview

Evernote is a note taking app that helps users capture and prioritize ideas, projects and to-do lists, so nothing falls through the cracks. Evernote allows a user to communicate with third parties to share Notes or Notebooks, or to authorize third-party applications to use with Evernote. Evernote's terms state they may contact a user with information about product announcements, service offerings, special offers, and promotional advertisements which may be paid for by third-party advertising networks in order to deliver advertisements to a user across the Internet. Evernote’s security program includes a security policy with the following focus areas: product, network, physical, and account security; infrastructure controls (physical and logical); data and transport encryption; employee awareness; intrusion detection; and assessment activities. Lastly, Evernote's terms state that they do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13 years of age without parental consent.

Evernote can be accessed through its website, and is available for download at the iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, and the Microsoft App Store. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use used for this evaluation can be found on Evernote’s website, iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, and the Microsoft App Store. Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include: Commercial Terms, Cookie Policy, Data Usage, GDPR, Privacy Center, Third-party Apps, Vendors, Transparency Report, Information For Law Enforcement. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Safety

Evernote allows a user to communicate with third parties to share Notes or Notebooks, or to authorize third-party applications to use with Evernote. The terms state users may choose to share using public links or through any of the service’s features that allow them to share or collaborate on content. A user can send messages to an email address, telephone number via SMS, or through a social media account such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

The terms state everything a user puts into Evernote is private by default and users have control over who sees their content. However, anyone who has access to a user’s shared Notebook will be able to see the Note’s contents, and any information about where and when the Note was created, as well as the Note history, tags and reminders associated with a particular Note. In addition, unless a user selects to enable others to view or have access to the Content they upload, no one else can view a user’s Content without their consent. A user’s notebooks can be made public or private, and users who create content in a "Business" Evernote account can have their private notes read by the account administrator.

Privacy

Evernote's terms state they are committed to the privacy and security of users' data and their goal is to help users organize, find, and use their data to be their most productive self. Evernote's terms state they collect personally identifiable information from a user and automatically collect non-personal analytics information. Evernote does not sell or rent a user’s information to third parties, however, some third-party applications and service providers that work with Evernote may ask for a user’s permission to access a user’s content or other information about their account, but are subject to strict data protection requirements.

In addition, third-party social plugins may allow their operators to learn that a user has visited Evernote’s website, and they may combine this information with other identifiable information they have collected about a user’s visits to other websites or online services. Moreover, Evernote may contact a user with information about product announcements, service offerings, special offers, and promotional advertisements which may be paid for by third-party advertising networks in order to deliver advertisements to a user across the Internet. However, Evernote does not share a user’s account information or user activity history with third parties for the purpose of enabling them to deliver behavioral advertisements.

Lastly, Evernote uses targeted advertising initiatives and may participate in the Twitter Tailored Audience and Facebook Custom Audience services, but Evernote does not engage in any data mining of a user’s Content in order to target advertising. Evernote allows third parties to track a user with a unique identifier to serve a user advertisements when they visit partners’ and providers’ websites, applications, or platforms.

Security

Evernote’s security program includes a security policy with the following focus areas: product, network, physical, and account security; infrastructure controls (physical and logical); data and transport encryption; employee awareness; intrusion detection; and assessment activities. Evernote's terms state they are committed to protecting the security of its users' information and takes reasonable precautions to protect it with both encryption while in transit and while in storage. Evernote also provides a user with the ability to encrypt segments of text within any given Note, but Evernote does not have the ability to decrypt a user's encrypted content.

In addition, Evernote periodically assesses their infrastructure and applications for vulnerabilities and remediates any issues that could impact the security of customer data. Evernote’s security team continually evaluates new tools to increase the coverage and depth of these assessments. If Evernote learns of a security system breach, they may attempt to notify a user and provide information on protective steps, if available, through the email address that a user has provided or by posting a notice on their web site and/or via other communication platforms.

Compliance

Evernote's terms state that they do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13 years of age without parental consent. The terms specify that Evernote is not directed to children, and any use by children should only be done with the guidance, supervision and consent of their parents, guardians and/or authorized school officials. In addition, users can access, review, modify, delete, and export their data through the service or request Evernote to provide assistance.

If Evernote learns that they have inadvertently obtained information from children without parental consent, they will promptly delete the information. Lastly, Evernote relies on parents and guardians to ensure minors only use the service if they can understand their rights and responsibilities as stated in Evernote’s policies.

Data Collection
SCORE: 45%

What data does it collect?

  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected.
  • The categories of collected personally identifiable information are indicated.
  • Unclear whether the collection or use of data is limited to product requirements.
  • Geolocation data are collected.
  • Unclear whether this product collects biometric or health data.
  • Unclear whether this product collects interactions, behaviors, or usage analytics data.
  • Sensitive data are collected.
  • Data is automatically collected.
  • Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
  • Personal information of users is collected by a third party.
Data Sharing
SCORE: 85%

What data does it share?

  • Collected information is shared with third parties.
  • The categories of information shared with third parties are indicated.
  • The purpose for sharing a user's personal information with third parties is indicated.
  • The categories of third parties that receive data are indicated.
  • Data are shared for analytics.
  • Unclear whether data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Third-party services are used to support the product.
  • The roles of third-party service providers are indicated.
  • Third-party login is supported.
  • Contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
Data Security
SCORE: 75%

How does it secure data?

  • A user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
  • Account creation is required.
  • Unclear whether managed accounts are available.
  • Multi-factor account protection is available.
  • Unclear whether third-parties with access to information are required to provide the same security protections as the company.
  • Reasonable security practices are used to protect data.
  • Employee or physical access to user information is limited.
  • All data in transit are encrypted.
  • All data are stored in an encrypted format.
  • Notice is provided in the event of a data breach.
Data Rights
SCORE: 95%

What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.
  • A data-retention policy is available.
  • Processes for authorized users to delete data are available.
  • A user's data are deleted upon account cancellation or termination.
  • Data are deleted when no longer necessary.
  • Methods are available to restrict who has access to data.
  • Processes to download user data are available.
Data Sold
SCORE: 35%

Is the data sold?

  • Personal information is not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Users can opt out from the disclosure or sale of their data to a third party.
  • User information can be transferred to a third party in the event of a merge, acquisition, or bankruptcy.
  • Unclear whether users are notified if their information is transferred to a third party.
  • Unclear whether user information can be deleted prior to its transfer to a third party.
  • Unclear whether third-party transfers are contractually required to use the same privacy practices.
  • User information that is shared is shared in an anonymous or de-identified format.
  • Unclear whether the company describes their de-identification process of user information.
  • Unclear whether data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Unclear whether contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying or de-identified information.
Data Safety
SCORE: 35%

How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information must be shared for social interactions.
  • Personal information can be displayed publicly.
  • Users can control how their data are displayed to others.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is reviewed, screened, or monitored by the company.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
  • Unclear whether social interactions between users are moderated.
  • Unclear whether social interactions of users are logged.
  • Unclear whether users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
SCORE: 70%

Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is not displayed.
  • Data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • User's information is used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Data profiles are created and used for personalised advertisements.
  • The company can send marketing messages.
  • The company does provide promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
  • Users can opt out of contextual, or personalised advertising.
  • Users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Parental Consent
SCORE: 55%

Can I provide parental consent?

  • Intended for children under 13.
  • Personal information from children under 13 years of age is collected.
  • Unclear whether intended for parents or guardians.
  • Company does have actual knowledge that personal information from users under 13 years of age is collected.
  • The company does provide a section, heading, or separate policy for children in their policies.
  • Parental consent is required before personal information is collected or disclosed.
  • Unclear whether this product limits parental consent with respect to third parties.
  • Unclear whether this product allows parents to withdraw consent for the further collection of their child's information.
  • Children's personal information is deleted if collected without parental consent.
  • Unclear whether this product provides parental consent notice and method for submission.
School Purpose
SCORE: 19%

Is the product intended for school?

  • Unclear whether intended for students.
  • Unclear whether personal information or education records are collected from preK-12 students.
  • Unclear whether intended for teachers.
  • Unclear whether this product is primarily used by, designed for, and marketed toward students in grades preK–12.
  • Processes to enter education records into the product are described.
  • Unclear whether additional rights or protections may be provided with an additional school contract.
  • Unclear whether the company is designated as a school official.
  • Parental consent obligations are transferred to the school or district.
Individual Control
SCORE: 85%

Can I control the use of my data?

  • Users can control the use of their information through privacy settings.
  • Use of information is limited to the purpose for which it was collected.
  • The context or purpose for which data are collected is indicated.
  • Company may combine data with additional data from third-party sources.
  • Unclear whether this product treats combined information as personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Notice is provided if the context in which data are collected changes.
  • Consent is obtained if the practices in which data are collected change.
  • A grievance or remedy mechanism is available for users to file a complaint.
  • Users can request to know what personal information has been shared with third parties.
  • Notice is provided in the event the company receives a government or legal request for a user's information.

Common Sense Standard Privacy Report (SPR)

The standard privacy report (SPR) displays all the privacy practices from a product's policies in a single, easy-to-read outline. The report shows a green check mark for better privacy practices and an orange alert for risky or unclear practices. This alert indicates that more time should be focused on these particular details prior to use.

About Privacy Evaluations

The privacy evaluations have been designed with the help and support of a consortium of schools and districts across the United States. These evaluations are designed to help educators make informed decisions about the potential privacy implications of educational technology used to support teaching and learning.

Our core evaluation criteria will always be freely available. People are encouraged to read the questions we use and our information security primer. Vendors are encouraged to use our questions and the information security primer to self-evaluate. You can also learn more about our evaluation process. Please be in touch with any questions or feedback.