Privacy Policy

Last modified: March 11, 2009 (view archived versions)

At Google we recognize that privacy is important. This Privacy Policy applies to all of the products, services and websites offered by Google Inc. or its subsidiaries or affiliated companies except DoubleClick (DoubleClick Privacy Policy) and Postini (Postini Privacy Policy); collectively, Google’s “services.” In addition, where more detailed information is needed to explain our privacy practices, we post supplementary privacy notices to describe how particular services process personal information. These notices can be found in the Google Privacy Center.

Google adheres to the US Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of Notice, Choice, Onward Transfer, Security, Data Integrity, Access and Enforcement, and is registered with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Safe Harbor Program.

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
USA

Information we collect and how we use it

We offer a number of services that do not require you to register for an account or provide any personal information to us, such as Google Search. In order to provide our full range of services, we may collect the following types of information:

  • Information you provide – When you sign up for a Google Account or other Google service or promotion that requires registration, we ask you for personal information (such as your name, email address and an account password). For certain services, such as our advertising programs, we also request credit card or other payment account information which we maintain in encrypted form on secure servers. 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.
  • Cookies – When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies – a small file containing a string of characters – to your computer or other device that uniquely identifies your browser. 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. We may set one or more cookies in your browser when you visit a website, including Google sites that use our advertising cookies, and view or click on an ad supported by Google’s advertising services.
  • Log information – When you access Google services, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a website. These server logs may include information such as 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. The affiliated sites through which our services are offered may have different privacy practices and we encourage you to read their privacy policies.
  • Gadgets – Google may make available third party applications through its services. The information collected by Google when you enable a gadget or other application is processed under this Privacy Policy. Information collected by the application or gadget provider is governed by their privacy policies.
  • Location data – Google offers location-enabled services, such as Google Maps for mobile. 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).
  • Links – Google may present links in a format that enables us to keep track of whether these links have been followed. We use this information to improve the quality of our search technology, customized content and advertising. Read more information about links and redirected URLs.
  • 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.

Google only processes personal information for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy and/or the supplementary privacy notices for specific services. In addition to the above, such purposes include:

  • Providing our services, including the display of customized content and advertising;
  • Auditing, research and analysis in order to maintain, protect and improve our services;
  • Ensuring the technical functioning of our network;
  • Protecting the rights or property of Google or our users; and
  • Developing new services.

You can find more information about how we process personal information by referring to the supplementary privacy notices for particular services.

Google processes personal information on our servers in the United States of America and in other countries. In some cases, we process personal information on a server outside your own country. We may process personal information to provide our own services. In some cases, we may process personal information on behalf of and according to the instructions of a third party, such as our advertising partners.

 

Choices for personal information

When you sign up for a particular service that requires registration, we ask you to provide personal information. 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 use.

If we propose to use personal information for any purposes other than those described in this Privacy Policy and/or in the specific service privacy notices, we will offer you an effective way to opt out of the use of personal information for those other purposes. We will not collect or use sensitive information for purposes other than those described in this Privacy Policy and/or in the supplementary service privacy notices, unless we have obtained your prior consent.

 

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, edit, 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