In the interests of transparency...
When you (a website visitor, reader, customer or member) use services provided by Shorthand (that's us: Shorthand Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries), you are trusting us with your data and information.
When you access our sites or services, you share various pieces of information with us, some of which you provide explicitly (for example, in using our application you provide the text and images in the stories you create) and some of which you provide implicitly (such as the kind of web browser you're using).
This document outlines the information we collect from you, why we collect that information, what we do with it, your choices about what information to provide, how you can update it, or object to certain uses.
We hope that by reading this policy you will understand how Shorthand respects your information and your privacy.
If, after reading this, you have any questions or concerns about the policy, feel free to contact us.
In order to see where you and your data fit into the Shorthand privacy story, it’s important to know a little about what we do and the types of people that come into contact with our services.
We maintain a number of websites of freely-accessible, no-login-required, pages about our services and the Shorthand Web Application. For the purposes of this policy, we call people accessing those pages 'visitors'.
The Shorthand Web Application enables storytellers to create and publish engaging online stories. In this policy, we refer to people reading one or more of those stories as 'readers'.
The Web Application itself is a service made available to 'customers' (whether through a paid subscription or as part of a free trial). The customer's subscription may enable application access to one or more 'members'.
The information collected about you and how it is used and shared will differ depending on your role as a visitor, reader, customer, or as a member of a customer's subscription.
Information we collect from visitors
What you give us
For those visiting our information pages and sites, the information you provide to us explicitly will be limited to that you choose to supply, such as through a contact or support form. We use this data so that we can respond to you or understand your comments.
If you've supplied information to us previously using one of our forms and would like to ensure that it is removed from our records, please contact us.
What we infer
We also collect a range of other, anonymized, information from site visitors by using the links you click on our site or external advertising, cookies and other technologies such as tracking pixels. The information may include the browser type you are using, an anonymised version of its IP address, and URLs of referring pages. We use these mechanisms for the purposes of:
- Necessary functionality. These cookies and similar technologies remember choices you have made on our pages, such as whether you have previously signed in as a member.
- For improving our services to you. Knowing your browser type and resolution enables us to format the pages you access appropriately.
Using cookies (such as those by Google Analytics) enables us to see the links you have clicked on within our site. This lets us understand how you arrived at and use our pages, which in turn can help us to identify areas in messaging and navigation that are working well, and those that we may need to improve.
- For measuring the effectiveness of our advertising. If you've come to a Shorthand page by clicking on an ad, a cookie lets us know that the ad did a good job of helping you find us.
Information collected from readers
If you have read a story created with the Shorthand Application, the information collected from you will largely be determined by the publisher of the story, and it is that publisher's own privacy and cookies policy that will likely be of most interest to you. If, for example, the story appears on the site of example-news.com, then you should seek the appropriate policy of the example-news organisation.
In this instance, Shorthand is a third-party provider of the application used to develop the story (and may also host it), to the publisher who also has control over some or most of the story's information-collection capabilities.
Any story created with the Shorthand Application may contain the capability to pass some information to Shorthand, and may set cookies from Shorthand in your browser, by arrangement between Shorthand and the publisher. This information is collected passively.
Information we collect passively from readers
Most of the information we collect passively from readers 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 readers and to improve our products over time. The information may include the following:
- the device type you used to access the story, the kind of web browser used, its resolution and aspect ratio. This anonymised information helps us to deliver stories that are optimised to render appropriately and quickly on your browser.
- when you accessed a story and how much of it was rendered. This data is not used to track individual users (it is anonymised such that we can't associate it with an individual), but rather to better understand overall engagement with stories and their presentation. Aggregated with similar information from other users, this allows Shorthand and our customers to focus on those story attributes that best engage readers, with high-quality content.
We do not collect or share readers' information in a personally-identifiable way with publishers or other third parties who wish to use that information to market their own products and services to you. In other words, as a reader of a story published with Shorthand, you will never be contacted by any third party service provider as a result of any information we have shared about you, with them.
If you are a user of the Shorthand Web Application, your use has been authorised by a customer or administrator of a Shorthand customer subscription (for example an organisation such as your employer or educational institution), and you are considered a member of that subscription.
As the provider of the Application to their members, customers are responsible for much of how their member data can be used, stored and retrieved.
If you are an invited user of a customer's Shorthand subscription, then your data privacy questions should be directed to the customer or administrator of the subscription, as your use is subject to their policies, which may differ from Shorthand's own policies.
If you do not wish for the customer or their administrators to have access to the information you provide to Shorthand, you should request an administrator to deactivate your account.
Information Shorthand collects from members:
What you provide:
As a user of the Shorthand Web Application, there are many kinds of information you share with us explicitly. For instance, when you accept an invitation to join a customer's subscription, you provide your name, email address and a password, and you may choose to attach a profile image or photo.
All of this data is accessible to Shorthand so that we can maintain your ability to log in and use the application, so we can enable your colleagues to find and work with you in the app, to render and maintain the stories you create and to prevent unauthorised users from accessing your Shorthand account.
It is up to you and the customer as to whether you need to use your real name and photo to identify yourself in the app, or whether pseudonyms and other avatars can represent your identity. Similarly, your administrators may have a policy on the use of private or company email addresses for login to the app. In either case, the way you identify yourself in the app can be changed by you within the "Personal Settings" section.
What we collect passively from members:
As you use the application, we may:
- set a cookie in your browser to identify you.
This helps us provide essential parts of the application, like enabling you to log in, and to set and remember parts of the application you change.
- identify IP addresses of devices you use.
Knowing the devices you use helps us to pevent unauthorised access to your account.
- identify the kind of web browser used, its resolution and aspect ratio.
This information helps us to deliver stories that are optimised to render appropriately and quickly on your devices.
- log when you use the application and how you use it.
Keeping track of your use of the Shorthand app enables us to report back to you and other members of your organisation about when stories have been updated and by whom, and to enable you to organise items in the application in ways that make it easier for you to use.
- keep track of links you click within our sites and emails.
Knowledge of how you interact with links across our services enables us to provide you with relevant information, and also helps us to improve the services we provide. For instance, if you've clicked a link in our newsletter, we can assume you've read some of its content.
- record a browser session
We occasionally record browser sessions from a very small random sample of members. These help us to identify areas of our services to improve and to check that newly released features are working for real members as planned. They capture only interactions at Shorthand, do not include passwords or payment details, and we'll never publish or share the recorded data outside of Shorthand. If you'd like to opt out of the possibility of being randomly sampled, you can do so here.
If you have created a Shorthand account and provided an organisation name (as opposed to joining an existing team or organisation's Shorthand workspace), we consider you a Customer. This is the case whether you are trying out the service without payment, or are paying for a subscription. For Shorthand Customers and their authorised Administrators, you should be aware of our Terms of Service, which you will have agreed to upon setting up your account.
As an account administrator, you may be called upon by your members to answer questions about their data, in which case you may refer to the section above in regards to Shorthand's collection and use of member data.
Similarly, information presented above in relation to readers of your Shorthand stories covers the detail we collect about readers.
When addressing the questions of your members and readers, it is important that you consider your own privacy policies and the settings of your hosting environment as they may differ considerably from those we employ.
There is a variety of information that we collect and store specifically in order to provide and maintain organisation accounts on behalf of the account administrators and the organisation members.
Information Shorthand collects from Customers and their administrators:
For Customers and Administrators of Shorthand subscriptions, upon setting up or upgrading a subscription with us, you will share company details such as telephone number, mailing address and job title. You also provide us with your credit card details so that we can bill you for services.
Customers or administrators might also choose to share information such as a Google Analytics tracking ID so that the performance of Shorthand stories can be analysed, and social media data including usernames/handles and App IDs so that Shorthand stories can be integrated with these third party social media platforms.
Data storage and protection
The bulk of the information we collect is provided explicitly by you or your members for the purposes of creating stories in Shorthand. Such information constitutes the "content" of stories created. These stories are often then exported from Shorthand at your or your member’s request, so they can be hosted 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 or your members, so that they can continue to be edited, copied as the starting point for a new story, or retrieved at a later date for republishing, etc.
Access to edit stories within the Shorthand web application is protected by username and password provided by you or your members. This means that others cannot edit or alter stories through our web editor unless they know the username and password of a member with legitimate editing access. As such, it is important that you and your members do not share passwords with anyone, even other colleagues (colleagues should be given their own Shorthand accounts so that they can collaborate 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 and the 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 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.
A table outlining the data sub-processors and third party tools we employ can be accessed here.
Deleting your information
Removal of information relating to your Shorthand subscription may have irreversible impact on your and your members' ability to use the application, and may also impact your reader's ability to view stories you have created and published with Shorthand.
Because of this, we take a very careful, personal, and tailored approach to data deletion: ensuring that the result meets your expectations and requirements.
Should you wish to delete your customer data, please get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.
Changes to this policy