Last modified: 20 October 2011 (view archived versions)
c/o Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California, 94043
Information that we collect and how we use it
We may collect the following types of information:
- 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 emails or other communications to Google, we may retain those communications in order to process your enquiries, 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 operator associated with the phone number, the content of the message as well as the date and time of the transaction. We may use your email address to communicate with you about our services.
- 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 mobile ID).
- Unique application number – Certain services, such as Google Toolbar, include a unique application number that is not associated with your account or with 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).
In addition to the above, we may use the information that 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 to the purpose for which it was collected, then we will ask for your consent prior to such use.
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.
Google only shares personal information with other companies or individuals outside Google in the following limited circumstances:
- We have your consent. We require opt-in consent for the sharing of any sensitive personal information.
- 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.
We take appropriate security measures to protect against unauthorised access to or unauthorised 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 unauthorised 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, jeopardise 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 when doing so would require a disproportionate effort. Because of the way that 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 back-up systems. Please review the service Help Centres for more information.
Google complies with the US-EU Safe Harbour Framework and the US-Swiss Safe Harbour Framework as set forth by the US 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 Harbour Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access and enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbour program and to view Google’s certification, please visit the Safe Harbour website.