Privacy Policy

Last modified: October 20, 2011 (view archived versions)

This Privacy Policy applies to all of the products, services and websites offered by Google Inc. or its subsidiaries or affiliated companies except Postini (Postini Privacy Policy). Sometimes, we may post product specific privacy notices or Help Center materials to explain our products in more detail.

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please feel free to contact us through our website or write to us at

Privacy Matters

c/o Google Inc.

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway

Mountain View, California, 94043


Information we collect and how we use it

We may collect the following types of information:

  • Information you provide – When you sign up for a Google Account, we ask you for personal information.
    We may combine the information you submit under your account with
    information from other Google services or third parties in order to
    provide you with a better experience and to improve the quality of our
    services. For certain services, we may give you the opportunity to opt
    out of combining such information. You can use the Google Dashboard to
    learn more about the information associated with your Account. If you
    are using Google services in conjunction with your Google Apps Account,
    Google provides such services in conjunction with or on behalf of your domain administrator.
    Your administrator will have access to your account information
    including your email. Consult your domain administrator’s privacy policy
    for more information.
  • Cookies – When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies
    to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality
    of our service, including for storing user preferences, improving
    search results and ad selection, and tracking user trends, such as how
    people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to
    help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and
    on Google services.
  • Log information – When you access Google
    services via a browser, application or other client our servers
    automatically record certain information. These server logs
    may include information such as your web request, your interaction with
    a service, 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 or your account.
  • User communications – When you send email or
    other communications to Google, we may retain those communications in
    order to process your inquiries, respond to your requests and improve
    our services. When you send and receive SMS messages to or from one of
    our services that provides SMS functionality, we may collect and
    maintain information associated with those messages, such as the phone
    number, the wireless carrier associated with the phone number, the
    content of the message, and the date and time of the transaction. We may
    use your email address to communicate with you about our services.
  • Affiliated Google Services on other sites – We
    offer some of our services on or through other web sites. Personal
    information that you provide to those sites may be sent to Google in
    order to deliver the service. We process such information under this
    Privacy Policy.
  • Third Party Applications – Google may make
    available third party applications, such as gadgets or extensions,
    through its services. The information collected by Google when you
    enable a third party application is processed under this Privacy Policy.
    Information collected by the third party application provider is
    governed by their privacy policies.
  • Location data – Google offers location-enabled
    services, such as Google Maps and Latitude. If you use those services,
    Google may receive information about your actual location (such as GPS
    signals sent by a mobile device) or information that can be used to
    approximate a location (such as a cell ID).
  • Unique application number – Certain services,
    such as Google Toolbar, include a unique application number that is not
    associated with your account or you. This number and information about
    your installation (e.g., operating system type, version number) may be
    sent to Google when you install or uninstall that service or when that
    service periodically contacts our servers (for example, to request
    automatic updates to the software).
  • Other sites – This Privacy Policy applies to
    Google services only. We do not exercise control over the sites
    displayed as search results, sites that include Google applications,
    products or services, or links from within our various services. These
    other sites may place their own cookies or other files on your computer,
    collect data or solicit personal information from you.

In addition to the above, we may use the information we collect to:

  • Provide, maintain, protect, and improve our services (including advertising services) and develop new services; and
  • Protect the rights or property of Google or our users.

If we use this information in a manner different than the purpose for
which it was collected, then we will ask for your consent prior to such

Google processes personal information on our servers in the
United States of America and in other countries. In some cases, we
process personal information outside your own country.


You can use the Google Dashboard to review and control the information stored in your Google Account.

Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies, but you can
reset your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie
is being sent. However, some Google features and services may not
function properly if your cookies are disabled.

Google uses the DoubleClick advertising cookie
on AdSense partner sites and certain Google services to help
advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web. You can
view and manage your ads preferences associated with this cookie by
accessing the Ads Preferences Manager. In addition, you may choose to opt out of the DoubleClick cookie at any time by using DoubleClick’s opt-out cookie.

Information sharing

Google only shares personal information with other companies or
individuals outside of Google in the following limited circumstances:

  • We have your consent. We require opt-in consent for the sharing of any sensitive personal information.
  • We provide such information to our subsidiaries, affiliated
    companies or other trusted businesses or persons for the purpose of
    processing personal information on our behalf. We require that these
    parties agree to process such information based on our instructions and
    in compliance with this Privacy Policy and any other appropriate
    confidentiality and security measures.
  • We have a good faith belief that access, use, preservation or
    disclosure of such information is reasonably necessary to (a) satisfy
    any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable
    governmental request, (b) enforce applicable Terms of Service, including
    investigation of potential violations thereof, (c) detect, prevent, or
    otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues, or (d) protect
    against harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, its users or
    the public as required or permitted by law.

If Google becomes involved in a merger, acquisition, or any form of
sale of some or all of its assets, we will ensure the confidentiality of
any personal information involved in such transactions and provide
notice before personal information is transferred and becomes subject to
a different privacy policy.

Information security

We take appropriate security measures to protect against unauthorized
access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of
data. These include internal reviews of our data collection, storage and
processing practices and security measures, including appropriate
encryption and physical security measures to guard against unauthorized
access to systems where we store personal data.

We restrict access to personal information to Google employees,
contractors and agents who need to know that information in order to
process it on our behalf. These individuals are bound by confidentiality
obligations and may be subject to discipline, including termination and
criminal prosecution, if they fail to meet these obligations.

Accessing and updating personal information

When you use Google services, we make good faith efforts to provide
you with access to your personal information and either to correct this
data if it is inaccurate or to delete such data at your request if it is
not otherwise required to be retained by law or for legitimate business
purposes. We ask individual users to identify themselves and the
information requested to be accessed, corrected or removed before
processing such requests, and we may decline to process requests that
are unreasonably repetitive or systematic, require disproportionate
technical effort, jeopardize the privacy of others, or would be
extremely impractical (for instance, requests concerning information
residing on backup tapes), or for which access is not otherwise
required. In any case where we provide information access and
correction, we perform this service free of charge, except if doing so
would require a disproportionate effort. Because of the way we maintain
certain services, after you delete your information, residual copies may
take a period of time before they are deleted from our active servers
and may remain in our backup systems. Please review the service Help
Centers for more information.


Google complies with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the
U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of
Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal
information from European Union member countries and Switzerland. Google
has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of
notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and
enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view
Google’s certification, please visit the Safe Harbor website.

Google regularly reviews its compliance with this Privacy Policy.
When we receive formal written complaints, it is Google’s policy to
contact the complaining user regarding his or her concerns. We will
cooperate with the appropriate regulatory authorities, including local
data protection authorities, to resolve any complaints regarding the
transfer of personal data that cannot be resolved between Google and an

Changes to this Privacy Policy

Please note that this Privacy Policy may change from time to time. We
will not reduce your rights under this Privacy Policy without your
explicit consent. We will post any Privacy Policy changes on this page
and, if the changes are significant, we will provide a more prominent
notice (including, for certain services, email notification of Privacy
Policy changes). We will also keep prior versions of this Privacy Policy in an archive for your review.