Privacy Policy

Your privacy is critically important to us. At Gnowsis we have a few fundamental principles:

  • We are an Austrian company working under European and Austrian privacy jurisdiction. Your Content is not made accessible to government authorities unless a court issues a search warrant. If we are obliged to pass or make accessible your Content to third parties, we are obliged to tell you in advance. Our policies conform to the rules of the Austrian Data Protection Commission ("Datenschutzkommission"). All this keeps your Content more secure than in countries with less restrictive law (such as the U.S.A.).
  • We do not ask you for personal information unless we truly need it.
  • We do not share your personal information with anyone except to comply with the law, or protect our rights. You can tell us to share Content for Plugins you use.
  • We do not store personal information on our servers unless required for the on-going operation of one of our Services.
  • We aim to make it as simple as possible for you to control what is visible to the public, seen by search engines, kept private, and permanently deleted.
  • Before your Content is passed on to third parties, you have to agree to it. Third parties may add additional Plugins on top of our Service, yet we let you decide what you allow them to do and what not.

Below is our privacy policy which incorporates these goals:

(Note, that this privacy policy is licensed under a Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, which means you are more than welcome to repurpose it for your own use, just make sure to replace references to us with ones to you. Also, publish your statements under the same license. We based this on the Automattic Privacy Policy. They spent a lot of money and time on the below, we also, and other people should not need to do the same.

gnowsis e.U. Leopold Sauermann ("Gnowsis") operates the website, and the website and Service Refinder. It is Gnowsis' policy to respect your privacy regarding any information we may collect while operating our websites and services.

Service Visitors

Like most website operators, Gnowsis collects non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor's request. Gnowsis' purpose in collecting non-personally identifying information is to better understand how Gnowsis' visitors use our website. From time to time, Gnowsis may release non-personally-identifying information in the aggregate, e.g., by publishing a report on trends in the usage of our Service and websites.

Gnowsis also collects potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. However, Gnowsis does not use such information to identify its visitors and does not disclose such information, other than under the same circumstances that it uses and discloses personally-identifying information, as described below.

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States . Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.
Your Refinder content (bookmarks, topics, notes, documents, etc.) is not shared with Google Analytics. 

Gathering of Personally-Identifying Information

Certain visitors to Gnowsis' websites choose to interact with Gnowsis in ways that require Gnowsis to gather personally-identifying information. The amount and type of information that Gnowsis gathers depends on the nature of the interaction. For example, we ask visitors who sign up for an account at Refinder to provide a username and email address. Those who engage in financial transactions with Gnowsis are asked to provide additional information, including as necessary the personal and financial information required to process those transactions. In each case, Gnowsis collects such information only insofar as is necessary or appropriate to fulfill the purpose of the visitor's interaction with Gnowsis. Gnowsis does not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below. Visitors can always refuse to supply personally-identifying information, with the caveat that it may prevent them from engaging in certain website-related activities.

Aggregated Statistics

Gnowsis may collect statistics about the behavior of visitors to its websites. For instance, Gnowsis may monitor the most popular public Content on the Refinder Service or use usage statistics to measure how our user base grows. Gnowsis may display this aggregated, non-personalized information publicly or provide it to third parties. However, Gnowsis does not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below.

Protection of Personal Information within Gnowsis and our Contractors

With "Personal Information" we understand potentially personally-identifying, information and Content which you created and that you stored on our Service.

Gnowsis has employees who work on the Service and works with contractors who improve or maintain parts of the Service. For example, the server hardware running the Service is provided by a contractor.

Gnowsis discloses Personal Information only to those of its employees and contractors that (i) need to know that information in order to process it on Gnowsis' behalf or to provide additional features available through Gnowsis' Service, and (ii) that have agreed not to disclose it to third parties.

All Gnowsis contractors and employees are working from within the European Union and are thus subject to the restrictive EU privacy laws. The Austrian Data Privacy Law §15 requires employees to keep your data secret, and we conform to this requirement. This is true for direct employees and we bind contractors who work on our core services to the same requirements. The policy for third parties using our API to build their services on top is different and described below.

Some of those employees and contractors may be located outside of your home country; by using Gnowsis' Service, you consent to the transfer of such information to them. Gnowsis will not rent or sell potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information to any third party. Other than to its employees, contractors and affiliated organizations, as described above, Gnowsis discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only when required to do so by law, or when Gnowsis believes in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Gnowsis, third parties or the public at large. If you are a registered user of a Gnowsis Service and have supplied your email address, you explicitly agree that Gnowsis may occasionally send you an email to tell you about new features, solicit your feedback, or just keep you up to date with what's going on with Gnowsis and our Products. We primarily use our various product blogs to communicate this type of information, so we expect to keep this type of email to a minimum. If you send us a request (for example via a support email or via one of our feedback mechanisms), we reserve the right to publish it in order to help us clarify or respond to your request or to help us support other users. Gnowsis takes all measures reasonably necessary to protect against the unauthorized access, use, alteration or destruction of potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information.

Protection of Shared and Public Content

We would like to protect shared Content the same way as personal Content is protected. As we cannot control what the recipients of your shared Content do with the Content, this is not possible. From our side, we restrict access to shared Content the same way we restrict your Personal Information.

Content which you published for the general public to see can be retrieved by the public and is therefore excluded from our privacy policy and confidentiality.

Third Parties Using the API to Access Your Content

You can use third party software on top of our Service. You explicitly have to give each service the permission to read your Content. By giving this permission, you authorize Gnowsis to pass on your Content to these third parties. By default, no third party can access your Content.

Some services will want to change your Content - add content, delete Content, or modify your Content. The permission to these alterations is separate from reading and will be allowed under the same conditions as in the previous paragraph.

To help you make a decision, we give you links to the jurisdiction information and privacy policies of third parties.

Analyzing the Data to Optimize the Service

We are continually optimizing and improving the Service for you. For example, we want to provide good recommendations of "related Content". To analyze the data, we are using our own software and software of third parties. Your Content is not transferred to third parties for this analysis. Instead, we run the analysis.

To improve the software and to gain scientific insight, anonymous statistical information will be passed on to third parties, especially to providers of software which we use. This statistical information is not "Personal Information" under above definition; especially it is not potentially personally-identifying and does not include your Content or parts thereof.

For example: we will pass on the fact that "40% of all tags are verbs", or "the top recommendation is accepted 60% of all times" but not the actual words you use.


A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor's computer, and that the visitor's browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. Gnowsis uses cookies to help Gnowsis identify and track visitors, their usage of Gnowsis Service, and their Service access preferences. Gnowsis visitors who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before using Gnowsis's Services, with the drawback that certain features of Gnowsis's Services may not function properly without the aid of cookies.

Privacy Policy Changes

Although most changes are likely to be minor, Gnowsis may change its Privacy Policy from time to time, and in Gnowsis' sole discretion. Gnowsis encourages visitors to frequently check this page for any changes to its Privacy Policy. If you have a Refinder account, you should also check your personal profile for alerts to these changes. Your continued use of this site after any change in this Privacy Policy will constitute your acceptance of such change.