Scanbot: The Case for Privacy

Learn more about the privacy and safety standards of Scanbot!

When it comes to scanning confidential documents like contracts, financial documents or information concerning your clients, safety has top priority. While creating the app, we did everything to guarantee high privacy standards.

Compatibility of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and privacy

To those who don’t know that much about OCR: It’s a process, that recognizes and extracts text from your scans. It can help you enormously while you’re working with a scan, as it makes your documents searchable. Since Scanbot was released, the OCR will run automatically if you purchase the Pro package and you can choose up to five languages to detect. Moreover, it will work on imported documents automatically as well.

Recently we received a lot of questions from you regarding the safety of our OCR. To clarify this, we want you to know how our OCR actually works.

In most other scanning apps that use OCR, the scans are being sent to a server to extract the text and information. And of course this can be intercepted by a 3rd party or the company might be obliged to hand-out your data, depending on the country and law.

Scanbot does this differently: We keep the process of recognizing and extracting text on your mobile device. This means that nothing is being sent anywhere. Once you downloaded your desired OCR-language packs, you can even use the technology offline.

Furthermore, we thought that we should give you a little guide how you can work with Scanbot in the most protected way.

Scanbot TouchID

Here are three features to increase the safety of your scans:


How many times do we hand over our smartphone to friends or leave it unattended in our office? It’s so easy for someone to get to our phones and herewith access our documents. That’s why we implemented a feature that allows you to encrypt single documents or even the whole app with a passcode or your fingerprint with Touch ID.

To turn it on, open Scanbot’s settings and tap “Passcode Lock and Touch ID“. Just choose your desired code, tap save and you’re done.

Moreover you can set up a time for an automatic lock! Just move the slider to set up the minutes it should take the app to lock itself.


Continuing the idea of passcode protection, we implemented another feature that enables you to protect single documents not only on your smartphone but also when they are shared.

Use our encryption feature to lock single documents with a password in order to control who gets access to them.

Open the document you want to protect, press “More“ and tap “Encrypt“. Enter a password, save it and you are done. Now on you can share even financial documents with your tax consultant without worries. Just send him the document and inform him about the password. A good practice is to use a different communication channel for the password. Like a phone call. That makes it extra tough for someone to intercept the info. The encryption follows the PDF standard and most PDF viewer apps can decrypt the document.


If you are using a secure cloud, like SFTP, FTPS or ownCloud and you’re more afraid that your phone gets lost, we have another feature for you.

If you have enabled Auto Upload in the settings, you get the option to automatically delete documents after the successful upload. This makes sure you don’t keep the data on your phone, but only in the cloud you trust.

So besides working on ensuring the highest possible privacy standards, we implemented smart features to keep your documents private!

We hope that these tips have been helpful and make you confident that using Scanbot is safe! You want to know more about our privacy policy? Have a look at our website!

If you have any further questions concerning this topic let us know in the comments below, via twitter, facebook or email!

Keep scanning!
Christoph and the Scanbot Team