Last modified: August 29, 2016
There are many different ways you can use our services – to search for and share information, to communicate with other people or to create new content. When you share information with us, for example by creating a Google Account, we can make those services even better – to show you more relevant search results and ads, to help you connect with people or to make sharing with others quicker and easier. As you use our services, we want you to be clear how we’re using information and the ways in which you can protect your privacy.
- What information we collect and why we collect it.
- How we use that information.
- The choices we offer, including how to access and update information.
We’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible, but if you’re not familiar with terms like cookies, IP addresses, pixel tags and browsers, then read about these key terms first. Your privacy matters to Google so whether you are new to Google or a long-time user, please do take the time to get to know our practices – and if you have any questions contact us.
Information we collect
We collect information to provide better services to all of our users – from figuring out basic stuff like which language you speak, to more complex things like which ads you’ll find most useful, the people who matter most to you online, or which YouTube videos you might like.
We collect information in the following ways:
Information you give us. For example, many of our services require you to sign up for a Google Account. When you do, we’ll ask for personal information, like your name, email address, telephone number or credit card to store with your account. If you want to take full advantage of the sharing features we offer, we might also ask you to create a publicly visible Google Profile, which may include your name and photo.
Information we get from your use of our services. We collect information about the services that you use and how you use them, like when you watch a video on YouTube, visit a website that uses our advertising services, or view and interact with our ads and content. This information includes:
We collect device-specific information (such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information including phone number). Google may associate your device identifiers or phone number with your Google Account.
When you use our services or view content provided by Google, we automatically collect and store certain information in server logs. This includes:
- details of how you used our service, such as your search queries.
- telephony log information like your phone number, calling-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and types of calls.
- Internet protocol address.
- device event information such as crashes, system activity, hardware settings, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and referral URL.
- cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your Google Account.
When you use Google services, we may collect and process information about your actual location. We use various technologies to determine location, including IP address, GPS, and other sensors that may, for example, provide Google with information on nearby devices, Wi-Fi access points and cell towers.
Unique application numbers
Certain services include a unique application number. This number and information about your installation (for example, the operating system type and application version number) may be sent to Google when you install or uninstall that service or when that service periodically contacts our servers, such as for automatic updates.
Cookies and similar technologies
We and our partners use various technologies to collect and store information when you visit a Google service, and this may include using cookies or similar technologies to identify your browser or device. We also use these technologies to collect and store information when you interact with services we offer to our partners, such as advertising services or Google features that may appear on other sites. Our Google Analytics product helps businesses and site owners analyze the traffic to their websites and apps. When used in conjunction with our advertising services, such as those using the DoubleClick cookie, Google Analytics information is linked, by the Google Analytics customer or by Google, using Google technology, with information about visits to multiple sites.
Information we collect when you are signed in to Google, in addition to information we obtain about you from partners, may be associated with your Google Account. When information is associated with your Google Account, we treat it as personal information. For more information about how you can access, manage or delete information that is associated with your Google Account, visit the Transparency and choice section of this policy.
How we use information we collect
We use the information we collect from all of our services to provide, maintain, protect and improve them, to develop new ones, and to protect Google and our users. We also use this information to offer you tailored content – like giving you more relevant search results and ads.
We may use the name you provide for your Google Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Google Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Google Account so that you are represented consistently across all our services. If other users already have your email, or other information that identifies you, we may show them your publicly visible Google Profile information, such as your name and photo.
If you have a Google Account, we may display your Profile name, Profile photo, and actions you take on Google or on third-party applications connected to your Google Account (such as +1’s, reviews you write and comments you post) in our services, including displaying in ads and other commercial contexts. We will respect the choices you make to limit sharing or visibility settings in your Google Account.
When you contact Google, we keep a record of your communication to help solve any issues you might be facing. We may use your email address to inform you about our services, such as letting you know about upcoming changes or improvements.
We use information collected from cookies and other technologies, like pixel tags, to improve your user experience and the overall quality of our services. One of the products we use to do this on our own services is Google Analytics. For example, by saving your language preferences, we’ll be able to have our services appear in the language you prefer. When showing you tailored ads, we will not associate an identifier from cookies or similar technologies with sensitive categories, such as those based on race, religion, sexual orientation or health.
Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection.
We may combine personal information from one service with information, including personal information, from other Google services – for example to make it easier to share things with people you know. Depending on your account settings, your activity on other sites and apps may be associated with your personal information in order to improve Google’s services and the ads delivered by Google.
Google processes personal information on our servers in many countries around the world. We may process your personal information on a server located outside the country where you live.
Transparency and choice
People have different privacy concerns. Our goal is to be clear about what information we collect, so that you can make meaningful choices about how it is used. For example, you can:
- Review and update your Google activity controls to decide what types of data, such as videos you’ve watched on YouTube or past searches, you would like saved with your account when you use Google services. You can also visit these controls to manage whether certain activity is stored in a cookie or similar technology on your device when you use our services while signed-out of your account.
- Review and control certain types of information tied to your Google Account by using Google Dashboard.
- View and edit your preferences about the Google ads shown to you on Google and across the web, such as which categories might interest you, using Ads Settings. You can also visit that page to opt out of certain Google advertising services.
- Adjust how the Profile associated with your Google Account appears to others.
- Control who you share information with through your Google Account.
- Take information associated with your Google Account out of many of our services.
- Choose whether your Profile name and Profile photo appear in shared endorsements that appear in ads.
You may also set your browser to block all cookies, including cookies associated with our services, or to indicate when a cookie is being set by us. However, it’s important to remember that many of our services may not function properly if your cookies are disabled. For example, we may not remember your language preferences.
Information you share
Many of our services let you share information with others. Remember that when you share information publicly, it may be indexable by search engines, including Google. Our services provide you with different options on sharing and removing your content.
Accessing and updating your personal information
Whenever you use our services, we aim to provide you with access to your personal information. If that information is wrong, we strive to give you ways to update it quickly or to delete it – unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business or legal purposes. When updating your personal information, we may ask you to verify your identity before we can act on your request.
We may reject requests that are unreasonably repetitive, require disproportionate technical effort (for example, developing a new system or fundamentally changing an existing practice), risk the privacy of others, or would be extremely impractical (for instance, requests concerning information residing on backup systems).
Where we can provide information access and correction, we will do so for free, except where it would require a disproportionate effort. We aim to maintain our services in a manner that protects information from accidental or malicious destruction. Because of this, after you delete information from our services, we may not immediately delete residual copies from our active servers and may not remove information from our backup systems.
Information we share
We do not share personal information with companies, organizations and individuals outside of Google unless one of the following circumstances applies:
With your consent
We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google when we have your consent to do so. We require opt-in consent for the sharing of any sensitive personal information.
With domain administrators
If your Google Account is managed for you by a domain administrator (for example, for Google Apps users) then your domain administrator and resellers who provide user support to your organization will have access to your Google Account information (including your email and other data). Your domain administrator may be able to:
- view statistics regarding your account, like statistics regarding applications you install.
- change your account password.
- suspend or terminate your account access.
- access or retain information stored as part of your account.
- receive your account information in order to satisfy applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
- restrict your ability to delete or edit information or privacy settings.
For external processing
For legal reasons
We will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google if we have a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to:
- meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
- enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations.
- detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.
- protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, our users or the public as required or permitted by law.
We may share non-personally identifiable information publicly and with our partners – like publishers, advertisers or connected sites. For example, we may share information publicly to show trends about the general use of our services.
We work hard to protect Google and our users from unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of information we hold. In particular:
- We encrypt many of our services using SSL.
- We offer you two step verification when you access your Google Account, and a Safe Browsing feature in Google Chrome.
- We review our information collection, storage and processing practices, including physical security measures, to guard against unauthorized access to systems.
- We restrict access to personal information to Google employees, contractors and agents who need to know that information in order to process it for us, and who are subject to strict contractual confidentiality obligations and may be disciplined or terminated if they fail to meet these obligations.
Compliance and cooperation with regulatory authorities
Specific product practices
The following notices explain specific privacy practices with respect to certain Google products and services that you may use:
For more information about some of our most popular services, you can visit the Google Product Privacy Guide.
Other useful privacy and security related materials
Further useful privacy and security related materials can be found through Google’s policies and principles pages, including:
- Information about our technologies and principles, which includes, among other things, more information on
- A page that explains what data is shared with Google when you visit websites that use our advertising, analytics and social products.
- The Privacy Checkup tool, which makes it easy to review your key privacy settings.
- Google’s safety center, which provides information on how to stay safe and secure online.
- Application data cache
- Browser web storage
- Cookies and similar technologies
- Google Account
- HTTP Referrer
- IP address
- Non-personally identifiable information
- Personal information
- Pixel tag
- Sensitive Categories
- Sensitive personal information
- Server logs
- Unique device identifier
An affiliate is an entity that belongs to the Google group of companies.
Application data cache
An application data cache is a data repository on a device. It can, for example, enable a web application to run without an internet connection and improve the performance of the application by enabling faster loading of content.
Browser web storage
Browser web storage enables websites to store data in a browser on a device. When used in "local storage" mode, it enables data to be stored across sessions (for example, so that the data are retrievable even after the browser has been closed and reopened). One technology that facilitates web storage is HTML 5.
Cookies and similar technologies
DeviceA device is a computer that can be used to access Google services. For example, a device could be a desktop, tablet or smartphone.
You may access some of our services by signing up for a Google Account and providing us with some personal information (typically your name, email address and a password). This account information will be used to authenticate you when you access Google services and protect your account from unauthorized access by others. You can edit or terminate your account at any time through your Google Account settings.
An HTTP Referrer is information transmitted to a destination webpage by a web browser, typically when you click a link to that webpage. The HTTP Referrer contains the URL of the last webpage the browser visited.
Every device connected to the Internet is assigned a number known as an Internet protocol (IP) address. These numbers are usually assigned in geographic blocks. An IP address can often be used to identify the location from which a device is connecting to the Internet.
Non-personally identifiable information
This is information that is recorded about users so that it no longer reflects or references an individually identifiable user.
This is information which you provide to us which personally identifies you, such as your name, email address or billing information, or other data which can be reasonably linked to such information by Google, such as information we associate with your Google account.
A pixel tag is a type of technology placed on a website or within the body of an email for the purpose of tracking activity on websites, or when emails are opened or accessed, and is often used in combination with cookies.
An advertising category may be sensitive if it relates to topics such as race, religion, sexual orientation, or health. When showing you tailored ads, we may associate an identifier from cookies or similar technologies with topics such as "Cooking and Recipes" or "Air Travel," but not with sensitive categories. We impose a similar policy on our advertisers.
Sensitive personal information
This is a particular category of personal information relating to confidential medical facts, racial or ethnic origins, political or religious beliefs or sexuality.
Like most websites, our servers automatically record the page requests made when you visit our sites. These “server logs” typically include your web request, Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser.
Here is an example of a typical log entry where the search is for “cars”, followed by a breakdown of its parts:
18.104.22.168 - 25/Mar/2003 10:15:32 -
Firefox 1.0.7; Windows NT 5.1 -
22.214.171.124is the Internet Protocol address assigned to the user by the user’s ISP; depending on the user’s service, a different address may be assigned to the user by their service provider each time they connect to the Internet;
25/Mar/2003 10:15:32is the date and time of the query;
http://www.google.com/search?q=carsis the requested URL, including the search query;
Firefox 1.0.7; Windows NT 5.1is the browser and operating system being used; and
740674ce2123a969is the unique cookie ID assigned to this particular computer the first time it visited Google. (Cookies can be deleted by users. If the user has deleted the cookie from the computer since the last time s/he visited Google, then it will be the unique cookie ID assigned to the user the next time s/he visits Google from that particular computer).
Unique device identifier
A unique device identifier (sometimes called a universally unique ID or UUID) is a string of characters that is incorporated into a device by its manufacturer and can be used to uniquely identify that device (for example an IMEI-number of a mobile phone). Different device identifiers vary in how permanent they are, whether they can be reset by users, and how they can be accessed. A given device may have several different unique device identifiers. Unique device identifiers can be used for various purposes, including security and fraud detection, syncing services such as a user’s email inbox, remembering the user’s preferences and providing relevant advertising.