The Most Beautiful Privacy Policy on the Planet

Last updated on 11 April 2016

When you (a customer or website visitor) use services provided by Shorthand (that's us: Shorthand Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries), you are trusting us with your data and information.

This document, The Most Beautiful Privacy Policy on the Planet, outlines what information we collect from you, why we collect that information and what we do with it. We hope that by carefully reading this policy you will understand how Shorthand respects your information and your privacy, and complies with the Australian Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

What you'll find in this Privacy Policy

Shorthand offers a web application that enables storytellers to create astoundingly beautiful and engaging stories. We also maintain a number of websites that provide information related to the Shorthand web application.

As a customer or a visitor to our websites, you share various pieces of information with us, some of which you provide explicitly (for example, the text and images in a story you create) and some of which you provide implicitly (such as the kind of web browser you're using).
Our Privacy Policy explains:

  • What information we collect;
  • Why we collect that information; and
  • What we do with that information.

This document also outlines when and to what this policy applies, how it is updated from time to time, and what you should do if you have any questions or concerns about this policy.

It's a word cloud! Remember those?

It's a word cloud! Remember those?

Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding our Privacy Policy.

Information we collect

What you give us

There are many kinds of information that you share with us explicitly. For instance, when you create an account, you provide your name, email address and password. When you subscribe to a plan or purchase a story bundle for the first time you share company details such as telephone number, mailing address and job title. You also provide us with your credit card details.

When you create a story using Shorthand, you provide text, images, videos, HTML, javascript, CSS and other story-related files and data.

You might also choose to share information such as a Google Analytics tracker ID so that you can analyse the performance of your Shorthand stories, and social media data including usernames/handles and App IDs so that you can integrate your Shorthand stories with these third party social media platforms.

What you don't give us but we collect anyway

Let's be honest: there's a bunch of information that we collect that you don't explicitly provide us with.

Such information includes the IP addresses of devices you use to access Shorthand websites, the kind of web browser you use and the Shorthand stories you have visited.

We, and some third party services we use, employ cookies to uniquely identify your browser. We use cookies to implement the concept of a "session" in our web applications, and also to help streamline the user experience when you visit our websites.

How we use and protect your information

Stories and story data

The bulk of the information we collect is provided explicitly by you for the purposes of creating stories in Shorthand. Such information constitutes the "content" of stories created by you. These stories are then exported from Shorthand so they can be hosted by you on your own server infrastructure or published to our web hosting environment or, in some cases, both.

Stories are also retained by the Shorthand web application unless they are deleted by you.

Access to your stories within the Shorthand web application is protected by your username and password. This means others cannot edit or alter your Shorthand stories through our web editor unless they know your username and password. As such, it is important that you do not share your password with anyone, even your own colleagues (your colleagues should be given their own Shorthand accounts so that you may collaborate with them inside the Shorthand web application).

Story previews are not protected with passwords. However, the URLs for story previews are long and obfuscated with cryptographic hashing. This makes story previews simple to share with colleagues for the purposes of obtaining editorial feedback and so on, but ensures preview URLs are difficult to guess.

Most of our websites use SSL/TLS to secure data that is communicated between our servers and your browser.

Your Personal Information

In addition to the content you provide to create stories using Shorthand, you also share personal information with us. Personal information includes things you tell us directly like your name, email address, password, postal addresses, credit card information and so on. It also includes data we collect passively like your devices' IP addresses, the browser you're using, Shorthand stories you've visited, the web pages you've visited on Shorthand websites.

Information you share explicitly
The information you share with us explicitly, like your name and address, is subject to the same security measures as your story data. Your passwords are subject to an additional cryptographic hashing measure before they are stored on our servers. This makes it incredibly difficult for anyone (even large governments) to ascertain your password in the unlikely event that a malicious party were to gain access to the servers where we store your data.

When you share your credit card details with us for the purposes of payment, we retain only a summary of that information including the last four digits of your credit card number. We use the summary to show you a list of the credit cards you have used with Shorthand. These can be removed if you wish to cancel your Shorthand subscription. We do not keep your entire credit card number and CVV on our servers. We use Stripe for payment processing (see Sharing your information with third parties below).

Information we collect passively
Most of the information we collect passively comes from tools and services such as Google Analytics. You can learn how Google protects information collected via Google Analytics from their website.

Collecting this additional information enables us to provide the best user experience for you, improve our products over time, and be as responsive as possible to customer support queries.

Sharing your information with third parties

Shorthand employs the services of third parties for the purposes of communicating with you.

In particular, we use a third party service to communicate with you via email, and additional third party services for customer relationship management. These services store your email addresses and other information on our behalf, so that we may provide the best service to you.

We use Stripe for credit card processing. Stripe stores your credit card information.

We do not share your personal information with third parties who wish to use that information to market their own products and services to you. In other words, you will never be contacted by any third party service provider we have shared your personal information with, unless you have shared that information with them outside of Shorthand.

Upon due consideration, we may share information with third parties where we have a legal obligation to do so under applicable laws and regulations.

When does our Privacy Policy apply?

The Most Beautiful Privacy Policy on the Planet (this document) applies to all services and websites operated by Shorthand.

Our Privacy Policy does not apply to services offered by third parties.

Changes to this policy

We reserve the right to make amendments to this Privacy Policy at any time. If you have objections to the Privacy Policy, you should not access or use our websites and services.


You can contact us at any time to discuss this Privacy Policy using our contact form or via email at privacy -at-

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NASA Earth's Light image courtesy of Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC. Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike

Graph visualisation images courtesy of Martin Grandjean. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

Question marks photo courtesy of VĂ©ronique Debord-Lazaro. Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike