Privacy Policy – Privacy & Terms – Google

Privacy Policy – Privacy & Terms – Google

Key terms

An affiliate is an entity that belongs to the Google group of companies, including the following companies that provide consumer services in the EU: Google Ireland Limited, Google Commerce Ltd, Google Payment Corp, and Google Dialer Inc. Learn more about the companies providing business services in the EU.

A process or set of rules followed by a computer in performing problem-solving operations.

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 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. This makes data retrievable even after a browser has been closed and reopened. One technology that facilitates web storage is HTML 5.

A cookie is a small file containing a string of characters that is sent to your computer when you visit a website. When you visit the site again, the cookie allows that site to recognize your browser. Cookies may store user preferences and other information. You can configure your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, some website features or services may not function properly without cookies. Learn more about how Google uses cookies and how Google uses data, including cookies, when you use our partners’ sites or apps.

A device is a computer that can be used to access Google services. For example, desktop computers, tablets, smart speakers, and smartphones are all considered devices.

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 is used to authenticate you when you access Google services and protect your account from unauthorized access by others. You can edit or delete your account at any time through your Google Account settings.

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.

This is information that is recorded about users so that it no longer reflects or references an individually-identifiable user.

This is information that you provide to us which personally identifies you, such as your name, email address, or billing information, or other data that 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 certain activity, such as views of a website or when an email is opened. Pixel tags are often used in combination with cookies.

A Referrer URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is information transmitted to a destination webpage by a web browser, typically when you click a link to that page. The Referrer URL contains the URL of the last webpage the browser visited.

This is a particular category of personal information relating to topics such as 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.

A typical log entry for a search for “cars” looks like this:

123.45.67.89 - 25/Mar/2003 10:15:32 -
http://www.google.com/search?q=cars -
Firefox 1.0.7; Windows NT 5.1 -
740674ce2123e969
  • 123.45.67.89 is 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 10:15:32 is the date and time of the query.
  • http://www.google.com/search?q=cars is the requested URL, including the search query.
  • Firefox 1.0.7; Windows NT 5.1 is the browser and operating system being used.
  • 740674ce2123a969 is 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 they’ve visited Google, then it will be the unique cookie ID assigned to their device the next time they visit Google from that particular device).

A unique identifier is a string of characters that can be used to uniquely identify a browser, app, or device. Different identifiers vary in how permanent they are, whether they can be reset by users, and how they can be accessed.

Unique identifiers can be used for various purposes, including security and fraud detection, syncing services such as your email inbox, remembering your preferences, and providing personalized advertising. For example, unique identifiers stored in cookies help sites display content in your browser in your preferred language. You can configure your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. Learn more about how Google uses cookies.

On other platforms besides browsers, unique identifiers are used to recognize a specific device or app on that device. For example, a unique identifier such as the Advertising ID is used to provide relevant advertising on Android devices, and can be managed in your device’s settings. Unique identifiers may also be incorporated into a device by its manufacturer (sometimes called a universally unique ID or UUID), such as the IMEI-number of a mobile phone. For example, a device’s unique identifier can be used to customize our service to your device or analyze device issues related to our services.

Additional Context

For example, if you watch videos about baking on YouTube, you may see more ads that relate to baking as you browse the web. We also may use your IP address to determine your approximate location, so that we can serve you ads for a nearby pizza delivery service if you search for “pizza.” Learn more about Google ads and why you may see particular ads.

For example, advertisers may upload data from their loyalty-card programs so that they can better understand the performance of their ad campaigns. We only provide aggregated reports to advertisers that don’t reveal information about individual people.

Android device with Google apps

Android devices with Google apps include devices sold by Google or one of our partners and include phones, cameras, vehicles, wearables, and televisions. These devices use Google Play Services and other pre-installed apps that include services like Gmail, Maps, your phone’s camera and phone dialer, text-to-speech conversion, keyboard input, and security features. Learn more about Google Play Services.

For example, we may anonymize data, or encrypt data to ensure it can’t be linked to other information about you. Learn more

Some examples of how we combine the information we collect include:

  • When you’re signed in to your Google Account and search on Google, you can see search results from the public web, along with relevant information from the content you have in other Google products, like Gmail or Google Calendar. This can include things like the status of your upcoming flights, restaurant, and hotel reservations, or your photos. Learn more
  • If you have communicated with someone via Gmail and want to add them to a Google Doc or an event in Google Calendar, Google makes it easy to do so by autocompleting their email address when you start to type in their name. This feature makes it easier to share things with people you know. Learn more
  • The Google app can use data that you have stored in other Google products to show you personalized content, depending on your settings. For example, if you have searches stored in your Web & App Activity, the Google app can show you news articles and other information about your interests, like sports scores, based your activity. Learn more
  • If you link your Google Account to your Google Home, you can manage your information and get things done through the Google Assistant. For example, you can add events to your Google Calendar or get your schedule for the day, ask for status updates on your upcoming flight, or send information like driving directions to your phone. Learn more

For example, when you’re signed in to your Google Account and have the Web & App Activity control enabled, you can get more relevant search results that are based on your previous searches and activity from other Google services. You can learn more here. You may also get customized search results even when you’re signed out. If you don’t want this level of search customization, you can search and browse privately or turn off signed-out search personalization.

For example, we may display a Google Doodle on the Search homepage to celebrate an event specific to your country.

This means the Google affiliate that is responsible for processing your information and for complying with applicable privacy laws.

Examples of how we use your information to deliver our services include:

  • We use the IP address assigned to your device to send you the data you requested, such as loading a YouTube video
  • We use unique identifiers stored in cookies on your device to help us authenticate you as the person who should have access to your Google Account
  • Photos and videos you upload to Google Photos are used to help you create albums, animations, and other creations that you can share. Learn more
  • A flight confirmation email you receive may be used to create a “check-in” button that appears in your Gmail
  • When you purchase services or physical goods from us, you may provide us information like your shipping address or delivery instructions. We use this information for things like processing, fulfilling, and delivering your order, and to provide support in connection with the product or service you purchase.

When we detect spam, malware, illegal content, and other forms of abuse on our systems in violation of our policies, we may disable your account or take other appropriate action. In certain circumstances, we may also report the violation to appropriate authorities.

For example, we can use information from your devices to help you decide which device you’d like to use to install an app or view a movie you buy from Google Play. We also use this information to help protect your account.

For example, we analyze how people interact with advertising to improve the performance of our ads.

For example, we continuously monitor our systems to look for problems. And if we find something wrong with a specific feature, reviewing activity information collected before the problem started allows us to fix things more quickly.

If you use Google’s Location services on Android, we can improve the performance of apps that rely on your location, like Google Maps. If you use Google’s Location services, your device sends information to Google about its location, sensors (like accelerometer), and nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi access points (like MAC address and signal strength). All these things help to determine your location. You can use your device settings to enable Google Location services. Learn more

Like other technology and communications companies, Google regularly receives requests from governments and courts around the world to disclose user data. Respect for the privacy and security of data you store with Google underpins our approach to complying with these legal requests. Our legal team reviews each and every request, regardless of type, and we frequently push back when a request appears to be overly broad or doesn’t follow the correct process. Learn more in our Transparency Report.

For example, we use cookies to analyze how people interact with our services. And that analysis can help us build better products. For example, it may help us discover that it’s taking people too long to complete a certain task or that they have trouble finishing steps at all. We can then redesign that feature and improve the product for everyone.

Google Analytics relies on first-party cookies, which means the cookies are set by the Google Analytics customer. Using our systems, data generated through Google Analytics can be linked by the Google Analytics customer and by Google to third-party cookies that are related to visits to other websites. For example, an advertiser may want to use its Google Analytics data to create more relevant ads, or to further analyze its traffic. Learn more

There are over 2 million non-Google websites and apps that partner with Google to show ads. Learn more

For example, if you add a credit card or other payment method to your Google Account, you can use it to buy things across our services, like apps in the Play Store. We may also ask for other information, like a business tax ID, to help process your payment. In some cases, we may also need to verify your identity and may ask you for information to do this.

We may also use payment information to verify that you meet age requirements, if, for example, you enter an incorrect birthday indicating you’re not old enough to have a Google Account. Learn more

You may also see personalized ads based on information from the advertiser. If you shopped on an advertiser’s website, for example, they can use that visit information to show you ads. Learn more

If you add your phone number to your account, it can be used for different purposes across Google services, depending on your settings. For example, your phone number can be used to help you access your account if you forget your password, help people find and connect with you, and make the ads you see more relevant to you. Learn more

For example, information about security threats can help us notify you if we think your account has been compromised (at which point we can help you take steps to protect your account).

For example, we may collect information that’s publicly available online or from other public sources to help train Google’s language models and build features like Google Translate. Or, if your business’s information appears on a website, we may index and display it on Google services.

For example, we use a cookie called ‘lbcs’ that makes it possible for you to open many Google Docs in one browser. Blocking this cookie would prevent Google Docs from working as expected. Learn more

Some examples of how we use your information to help keep our services safe and reliable include:

  • Collecting and analyzing IP addresses and cookie data to protect against automated abuse. This abuse takes many forms, such as sending spam to Gmail users, stealing money from advertisers by fraudulently clicking on ads, or censoring content by launching a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
  • The “last account activity” feature in Gmail can help you find out if and when someone accessed your email without your knowledge. This feature shows you information about recent activity in Gmail, such as the IP addresses that accessed your mail, the associated location, and the date and time of access. Learn more

When showing you personalized ads, we use topics that we think might be of interest to you based on your activity. For example, you may see ads for things like “Cooking and Recipes” or “Air Travel.” We don’t use topics or show personalized ads based on sensitive categories like race, religion, sexual orientation, or health. And we require the same from advertisers that use our services.

Your device may have sensors that can be used to better understand your location and movement. For example, an accelerometer can be used to determine your speed and a gyroscope to figure out your direction of travel.

For example, we operate data centers located around the world to help keep our products continuously available for users.

Examples of these services include:

  • Google Voice, for making and receiving calls, sending text messages, and managing voicemail
  • Google Meet, for making and receiving video calls
  • Gmail, for sending and receiving emails
  • Google Chat, for sending and receiving messages
  • Google Duo, for making and receiving video calls and sending and receiving messages
  • Google Fi, for a phone plan

When lots of people start searching for something, it can provide useful information about particular trends at that time. Google Trends samples Google web searches to estimate the popularity of searches over a certain period of time and shares those results publicly in aggregated terms. Learn more

For example, you can delete your blog from Blogger or a Google Site you own from Google Sites. You can also delete reviews you’ve left on apps, games, and other content in the Play Store.

For example, we allow YouTube creators and advertisers to work with measurement companies to learn about the audience of their YouTube videos or ads, using cookies or similar technologies. Another example is merchants on our shopping pages, who use cookies to understand how many different people see their product listings. Learn more about these partners and how they use your information.

Your Chrome browsing history is only saved to your account if you’ve enabled Chrome synchronization with your Google Account. Learn more

For example, when you type an address in the To, Cc, or Bcc field of an email you’re composing, Gmail will suggest addresses based on the people you contact most frequently.

For example, we process your information to report use statistics to rights holders about how their content was used in our services. We may also process your information if people search for your name and we display search results for sites containing publicly available information about you.

For example, we collect information about views and interactions with ads so we can provide aggregated reports to advertisers, like telling them whether we served their ad on a page and whether the ad was likely seen by a viewer. We may also measure other interactions, such as how you move your mouse over an ad or if you interact with the page on which the ad appears.

For example, you can choose whether you want Google to save an audio recording to your Google Account when you interact with Google Search, Assistant, and Maps. When your device detects an audio activation command, like “Hey Google,” Google records your voice and audio plus a few seconds before the activation. Learn more

This activity might come from your use of Google services, like from syncing your account with Chrome or your visits to sites and apps that partner with Google. Many websites and apps partner with Google to improve their content and services. For example, a website might use our advertising services (like AdSense) or analytics tools (like Google Analytics), or it might embed other content (such as videos from YouTube). These services may share information about your activity with Google and, depending on your account settings and the products in use (for instance, when a partner uses Google Analytics in conjunction with our advertising services), this data may be associated with your personal information.

Learn more about how Google uses data when you use our partners’ sites or apps.

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