Key terms

Affiliates

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 Commerce Ltd, Google Payment Corp, and Google Dialer Inc. Learn more about the companies providing business services in the EU.

Algorithm

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

Application data cache

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

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.

Device

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.

Google Account

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.

Referrer URL

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.

IP address

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.

Non-personally identifiable information

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

Personal information

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.

Pixel tag

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.

Sensitive personal information

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.

Server logs

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).

Unique identifiers

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.