iPad note apps and handwriting recognition: how private are those thoughts?

Hi all,

I’ve been loving my iPad pro and was really impressed by notability and it’s handwriting recognition - especially considering my handwriting :wink:

But I was wondering and could not find any info as to how much of this aggregated information is “used”, or even transferred, for maybe analytical reasons or such. The convenience of searching through these notes adhoc is especially appreciated as I like to journal using the iPad. Is all this done purely on the device itself?

I’m especially interested in notability and goodnotes. Would it be enough to just not sync anything if the need to store confidential data arises?

Disclaimer: I do know that apps exist to encrypt notes, but to my knowledge none of these support handwriting - and of course even a paper notebook can be found or inspected by a nosy person at any given time…

Looking forward to understanding this a bit better.

According to their privacy statement, Ginger Labs has no access to this data:

What information do we collect?

All information collected is aggregated and anonymized to protect individual users. We only use this data in aggregate form, as a statistical measure, and not in a manner that would identify you personally, in order to improve our product. Data on device type, operating system, and the user experience is automatically collected when using our product and solely used to optimize and improve the usability of our products and the website.

Information we do not collect

Ginger Labs does not collect any personal information in Notability or on the website. Ginger Labs does not have access to content you create in Notability or to files you import into Notability. Your work is your information.



GoodNotes states that your thoughts remain private: “Neither us nor any other party can view, read or modify any of the documents you save in the GoodNotes app.” If you sync using a cloud service, then you also have to look to that cloud service’s privacy policies.

What kind of data is being collected?

a) Information we collect automatically: Your privacy matters to us. We do not automatically collect any personal data and no other data that will enable us or any third-party to personally identify you. We do automatically collect anonymized, aggregated statistical data like the number of visitors per week, the number of created documents or the average time users spend on the site or in the app per session. None of the data we collect allows us or other parties to personally identify you. Neither us nor any other party can access, modify, or read any of your documents that are saved in the app.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you read any of the notes I take or can you see any of the documents I save in the app?

No. Neither us nor any other party can view, read or modify any of the documents you save in the GoodNotes app. If you don’t choose to backup or sync to a cloud storage, all your documents are only saved locally on your device.

I save personal data of customers in your app. Do I need a data processing agreement with you?

No. Neither us nor any other party can view, read or modify any of the documents you save in the GoodNotes app.

Do you have Data Protection Agreements (“DPAs”) with all data processors in place?

Yes. Your privacy matters to us. We have DPAs with any partner that processes data in place. The terms of this privacy policy applies and the data you voluntarily provide us with, will only be used by us for the stated purposes (e.g. sending a newsletter to you).

The privacy policy is available here on their GoodNotes’ website.

1 Like

Thank you both very much. I can’t imagine why I forgot to think of the privacy policy. Somehow I didn’t see the wood for the trees.

A bit embarrassed but thankful.