Do you use Evernote?

As a heavy user of Evernote, this definitely came as a bit of a surprise. If you missed it, Evernote changed their privacy policy to state that their staff could read your notes. This was a remarkable jump from their previous stance of strict data privacy, whether you believed their policy or not.

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.

It’s not about taking issue with data being shared, or Terms of Services being changed, it’s just about knowing that changes have taken place.

I'm going to be running many products in the coming months, each relying on a multitude of services and handling user data. I want to know the moment these services change their terms, not when they choose to tell me, if at all.

So the first product for 12-startups-in-12-months is a Terms of Service (ToS) ToS watcher that constantly monitors ToS' & Privacy Policies and sends notifications the day there are changes.

If you’re interested in learning more reach out to me, or: