This is an archived version of our Privacy Policy. View the current version or all past versions.

Privacy Policy

Last modified: October 14, 2005

At Google, we strive to develop innovative services to better serve our users. We recognize that privacy is an important issue, so we design and operate our services with the protection of your privacy in mind. This Privacy Policy outlines the types of personal information we gather when you use Google’s services, as well as some of the steps we take to safeguard it.

At Google we recognize that privacy is important. This Policy applies to all of the products, services and websites offered by Google Inc. or its subsidiaries or affiliated companies (collectively, Google’s “services”). In addition, where more detailed information is needed to explain our privacy practices, we post separate privacy notices to describe how particular services process personal information, which are accessible from the navigation bar to the left of this notice.

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 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

The following principles apply to the personally identifying information we ask for and that you provide. “Personally identifying information” is information that individually identifies you, such as your name, physical address or email address. You can find more details about the data we collect on particular services by clicking the links on the side of this page.

Data collection

  • Google search, the Google Toolbar, Google News and some other services do not require any personally identifying information.
  • Google collects limited non-personally identifying information your browser makes available whenever you visit a website. This log information includes your Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your query and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser. We use this information to operate, develop and improve our services.
  • Some of our services require you to register for an account. Google asks you for some personal information in order to create an account (typically your name, email address and a password for your account) and we will use that information to provide the service. For certain services, such as our advertising programs, we may request credit card or other payment information which we maintain in encrypted form on secure servers.
  • When we require personally identifying information, we will inform you about the types of information we collect and how we use it. We hope this will help you make an informed decision about sharing your personal information with us.

Cookies

  • Upon your first visit to Google, a cookie is sent to your computer that uniquely identifies your browser. A “cookie” is a small file containing a string of characters that is sent to your computer when you visit a website. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service and to better understand how people interact with us. Google does this by storing user preferences in cookies and by tracking user trends and patterns of how people search. Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies. You can reset your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, some Google features or services may not function properly without cookies.

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.
  • Google cookies – When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies – a small file containing a string of characters – to your computer that uniquely identifies your browser. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service by storing user preferences and tracking user trends, such as how people search. 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.
  • Log information – When you use 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 communication to Google, we may retain those communications in order to process your inquiries, respond to your requests and improve our services.
  • Affiliated sites – We offer some of our services in connection with 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 in accordance with this Policy. The affiliated sites may have different privacy practices and we encourage you to read their privacy policies.
  • 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. For more information about links and redirected URLs, please see our FAQs.
  • Other sites – This Privacy Policy applies to web sites and services that are owned and operated by Google. We do not exercise control over the sites displayed as search results 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 the applicable Privacy Policy and/or privacy notice for specific services. In addition to the above, such purposes include:

  • Providing our products and services to users, 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; and
  • Developing new services.

You can find more information about how we process personal information by referring to the 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 Policy and/or in the specific service 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 Policy and/or in the specific service notices, unless we have obtained your prior consent.

You can decline to submit personal information to any of our services, in which case Google may not be able to provide those services to you.

Information sharing

  • We do not rent or sell your personally identifying information to other companies or individuals, unless we have your consent. We may share such Google only shares personal information with other companies or individuals outside of Google in any of 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 sole purpose of processing personally identifying information on our behalf. When this is done, it is subject to agreements that oblige those parties We require that these parties agree to process such information only based on our instructions and in compliance with this Privacy Policy and any other appropriate confidentiality and security measures.
    • We conclude that we are required by law or have a good faith belief that access, preservation or disclosure of such information is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of Google, its users or the public.
    • 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 imminent harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, its users or the public as required or permitted by law.
  • If you have an account, we may share the information submitted under your account among all of our services in order to provide you with a seamless experience and to improve the quality of our services. We will not disclose your account information to other people or non-affiliated companies, except in the limited circumstances described in this Policy or with your consent.
  • We may store and process personal information collected on our site in the United States or any other country in which Google Inc. or its agents maintain facilities. By using our services, you consent to the transfer of your information among these facilities, including those located outside your country.
  • In the event of a transfer of ownership of Google Inc., such as acquisition by or merger with another company, If Google becomes involved in a merger, acquisition, or any form of sale of some or all of its assets, we will provide notice before any personally identifying information is transferred and becomes subject to a different privacy policy.
  • We may share with third parties certain pieces of aggregated, non-personal information aggregated information with others. Examples of this include , such as the number of users who searched for “Mars Rover” a particular term, for example, or how many users clicked on a particular advertisement. Such information does not identify you individually.

Please contact us at the address below for any additional questions about the management or use of personal data.

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, as well as physical security measures to guard against unauthorized access to systems where we store personal data.
  • We restrict access to your personally identifying information to Google employees, contractors and agents who need to know that information in order to operate, develop or improve our services. 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.

Data integrity

Google processes personal information only for the purposes for which it was collected and in accordance with this Policy or any applicable service-specific privacy notice. We review our data collection, storage and processing practices to ensure that we only collect, store and process the personal information needed to provide or improve our services. We take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we process is accurate, complete, and current, but we depend on our users to update or correct their personal information whenever necessary.

Updating your Accessing and updating personal information

  • We provide mechanisms for updating and correcting your personally identifying information for many of our services. For more information, please see the help pages for each service.

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. Some of our services have different procedures to access, correct or delete users’ personal information. We provide the details for these procedures in the specific privacy notices or FAQs for these services.

Links

  • The sites displayed as search results or linked to by Google’s services are developed by people over whom Google exercises no control. These other sites may place their own cookies on your computer, collect data or solicit personal information.
  • Google may present links in a format that enables us to understand whether they have been followed. We use this information to understand and improve the quality of Google’s search technology. For instance, this data helps us determine how often users are satisfied with the first result of a query and how often they proceed to later results.

Enforcement

Google regularly reviews its compliance with this Policy. Please feel free to direct any questions or concerns regarding this Policy or Google’s treatment of personal information by contacting us through this web site or by writing to us at

Privacy Matters
c/o Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California, 94043
USA

When we receive formal written complaints at this address, 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 individual.

Changes to this Policy policy

Please note that this Privacy Policy will may change from time to time. We expect most such changes to be minor, but there may be changes that are more significant. We will not reduce your rights under this Policy without your explicit consent, and we expect most such changes will be minor. Regardless, we will post those any Policy changes on this page and, if the changes are significant, we will also provide a more prominent notice (including, for certain services, email notification of Policy changes). Each version of this Policy will be noted identified at the top of the page by its effective datePrior versions of this Privacy Policy will be kept in an archive for you to view, and we will also keep prior versions of this Privacy Policy in an archive for your review.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about this Policy, please feel free to contact us any time. through this web site or at

Privacy Matters
c/o Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California, 94043
USA

For more information about our practices regarding specific information or services that are not covered in this Privacy Policy, click on the links to the side of this page.