CEO Chris O’Neill said the company had “messed up, in no uncertain terms.”
The move by the note-taking app follows protests from users, some of whom have threatened to drop the service after the company announced that its policy would change to improve its machine learning capabilities by letting a select number of employees, who would assist with the training of the algorithms, view the private information of its users. The company claims 200 million users around the world.
The machine learning technologies would make users more productive as they would allow the automation of functions now done manually, like creating to-do lists or putting together travel itineraries, O’Neill had said earlier on Thursday in defense of the proposed changes.
Evernote employees would only see random content in snippets to check that the features are working properly but they wouldn’t know who it belongs to, and personal information would be masked, he added.
The Redwood City, California, company will make machine learning technologies available to its users, but employees will be not be reading note content unless users opt in, Evernote said in a blog post.