Google Terms of Service

Effective March 31, 2020 | Archived versions | Download PDF

What’s covered in these terms

We know it’s tempting to skip these Terms of Service, but it’s important to establish what you can expect from us as you use Google services, and what we expect from you.

These Terms of Service reflect the way Google’s business works, the laws that apply to our company, and certain things we’ve always believed to be true. As a result, these Terms of Service help define Google’s relationship with you as you interact with our services. For example, these terms include the following topic headings:

Understanding these terms is important because, to use our services, you must accept these terms.

Besides these terms, we also publish a Privacy Policy. Although it’s not part of these terms, we encourage you to read it to better understand how you can update, manage, export, and delete your information.

Service provider

In the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, Google services are provided by:

Google Ireland Limited
incorporated and operating under the laws of Ireland (Registered Number: 368047)

Gordon House, Barrow Street
Dublin 4
Ireland

Age requirements

If you’re under the age required to manage your own Google Account, you must have your parent or legal guardian’s permission to use a Google Account. Please have your parent or legal guardian read these terms with you.

If you’re a parent or legal guardian who has accepted these terms, and you allow your child to use the services, then to the extent permitted by applicable law, you’re responsible for your child’s activity on the services.

Some Google services have additional age requirements as described in their service-specific additional terms and policies.

Your relationship with Google

These terms help define the relationship between you and Google. Broadly speaking, we give you permission to use our services if you agree to follow these terms, which reflect how Google’s business works and how we earn money. When we speak of “Google,” “we,” “us,” and “our,” we mean Google Ireland Limited and its affiliates.

What you can expect from us

Provide a broad range of useful services

We provide a broad range of services that are subject to these terms, including:
  • apps and sites (like Search and Maps)
  • platforms (like Google Play)
  • integrated services (like Maps embedded in other companies’ apps or sites)
  • devices (like Google Home)

Our services are designed to work together, making it easier for you to move from one activity to the next. For example, Maps can remind you to leave for an appointment that appears in your Google Calendar.

Improve Google services

We maintain a rigorous product research program, so before we change or stop offering a service, we carefully consider the reasonableness of the change or deprecation, your interests as a user, your reasonable expectations, and the potential impact on you and others. We only change or stop offering services for valid reasons, such as to improve performance or security, to comply with law, to prevent illegal activities or abuse, to reflect technical developments, or because a feature or an entire service is no longer popular enough or economical to offer.

If we make material changes that negatively impact your use of our services or if we stop offering a service, we’ll provide you with reasonable advance notice and an opportunity to export your content from your Google Account using Google Takeout, except in urgent situations such as preventing abuse, responding to legal requirements, or addressing security and operability issues.

What we expect from you

Follow these terms and service-specific additional terms

The permission we give you to use our services continues as long as you meet your responsibilities in:

You can view, copy, and store these terms in PDF format. You can accept these terms and any service-specific additional terms when you’re signed in to your Google Account.

We also make various policies, help centers, and other resources available to you to answer common questions and to set expectations about using our services. These resources include our Privacy Policy, Copyright Help Center, Safety Center, and other pages accessible from our policies site.

Although we give you permission to use our services, we retain any intellectual property rights we have in the services.

Respect others

Many of our services allow you to interact with others. We want to maintain a respectful environment for everyone, which means you must follow these basic rules of conduct:
  • comply with applicable laws, including export control, sanctions, and human trafficking laws
  • respect the rights of others, including privacy and intellectual property rights
  • don’t abuse or harm others or yourself (or threaten or encourage such abuse or harm) — for example, by misleading, defrauding, defaming, bullying, harassing, or stalking others
  • don’t abuse, harm, interfere with, or disrupt the services

Our service-specific additional terms and policies provide additional details about appropriate conduct that everyone using those services must follow. If you find that others aren’t following these rules, many of our services allow you to report abuse. If we act on a report of abuse, we also provide a fair process as described in the Taking action in case of problems section.

Permission to use your content

Some of our services are designed to let you upload, submit, store, send, receive, or share your content. You have no obligation to provide any content to our services and you’re free to choose the content that you want to provide. If you choose to upload or share content, please make sure you have the necessary rights to do so and that the content is lawful.

License

Your content remains yours, which means that you retain any intellectual property rights that you have in your content. For example, you have intellectual property rights in the creative content you make, such as reviews you write. Or you may have the right to share someone else’s creative content if they’ve given you their permission.

We need your permission if your intellectual property rights restrict our use of your content. You provide Google with that permission through this license.

What’s covered

This license covers your content if that content is protected by intellectual property rights.

What’s not covered

  • This license doesn’t affect your data protection rights — it’s only about your intellectual property rights
  • This license doesn’t cover these types of content:
    • publicly-available factual information that you provide, such as corrections to the address of a local business. That information doesn’t require a license because it’s considered common knowledge that everyone’s free to use.
    • feedback that you offer, such as suggestions to improve our services. Feedback is covered in the Service-related communications section below.

Scope

This license is:
  • worldwide, which means it’s valid anywhere in the world
  • non-exclusive, which means you can license your content to others
  • royalty-free, which means there are no fees for this license

Rights

This license allows Google to do the following things, only for the limited purposes described in the Purpose section below:

  • use your content for technical purposes only — for example, to save your content on our systems and make it accessible from anywhere you go, or to reformat your content for compatibility with our services
  • make your content publicly available if and only to the extent you’ve made it visible to others
  • sublicense these rights to:
    • other users to allow the services to work as designed, such as enabling you to share photos with people you choose
    • our contractors who’ve signed agreements with us that are consistent with these terms, only for the limited purposes described in the Purpose section below

Purpose

This license is for the limited purpose of operating the services, which means allowing the services to work as designed and creating new features and functionalities. This includes using automated systems and algorithms to analyze your content:

  • for spam, malware, and illegal content
  • to recognize patterns in data, such as determining when to suggest a new album in Google Photos to keep related photos together
  • to customize our services for you, such as providing recommendations and personalized search results, content, and ads (which you can change or turn off in Ads Settings)

This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.

Duration

This license lasts for as long as your content is protected by intellectual property rights, unless you remove your content from our services earlier.

If you remove from our services any content that’s covered by this license, then our systems will stop making that content publicly available in a reasonable amount of time. There are two exceptions:

  • If you already shared your content with others before removing it. For example, if you shared a photo with a friend who then made a copy of it, or shared it again, then that photo may continue to appear in your friend’s Google Account even after you remove it from your Google Account.
  • If you make your content available through other companies’ services, it’s possible that search engines, including Google Search, will continue to find and display your content as part of their search results.

Using Google services

Your Google Account

If you meet these age requirements you can create a Google Account for your convenience. Some services require that you have a Google Account in order to work — for example, to use Gmail, you need a Google Account so that you have a place to send and receive your email.

You’re responsible for what you do with your Google Account, including taking reasonable steps to keep your Google Account secure, and we encourage you to regularly use the Security Checkup.

Using Google services on behalf of an organization or business

Many organizations, such as businesses, non-profits, and schools, take advantage of our services. To use our services on behalf of an organization:
  • an authorized representative of that organization must agree to these terms
  • your organization’s administrator may assign a Google Account to you. That administrator might require you to follow additional rules and may be able to access or disable your Google Account.
If you’re based in the European Union, then these terms don’t affect the rights you may have as a business user of online intermediation services — including online platforms such as Google Play — under the EU Platform-to-Business Regulation.

Service-related communications

To provide you with our services, we sometimes send you service announcements and other service-related information. To learn more about how we communicate with you, see Google’s Privacy Policy.

If you choose to give us feedback, such as suggestions to improve our services, we may act on your feedback without obligation to you.

Content in Google services

Your content

Some of our services give you the opportunity to make your content publicly available — for example, you might post a product or restaurant review that you wrote, or you might upload a blog post that you created.

If you think someone is infringing your intellectual property rights, you can send us notice of the infringement and we’ll take appropriate action. For example, we suspend or close the Google Accounts of repeat copyright infringers as described in our Copyright Help Center.

Google content

Some of our services include content that belongs to Google — for example, many of the visual illustrations you see in Google Maps. You may use Google’s content as allowed by these terms and any service-specific additional terms, but we retain any intellectual property rights that we have in our content. Don’t remove, obscure, or alter any of our branding, logos, or legal notices. If you want to use our branding or logos, please see the Google Brand Permissions page.

Other content

Finally, some of our services give you access to content that belongs to other people or organizations — for example, a store owner’s description of their own business, or a newspaper article displayed in Google News. You may not use this content without that person or organization’s permission, or as otherwise allowed by law. The views expressed in other people or organizations’ content are theirs, and don’t necessarily reflect Google’s views.

Software in Google services

Some of our services include downloadable software. We give you permission to use that software as part of the services.

The license we give you is:
  • worldwide, which means it’s valid anywhere in the world
  • non-exclusive, which means that we can license the software to others
  • royalty-free, which means there are no fees for this license
  • personal, which means it doesn’t extend to anyone else
  • non-assignable, which means you’re not allowed to assign the license to anyone else

Some of our services include software that’s offered under open source license terms that we make available to you. Sometimes there are provisions in the open source license that explicitly override parts of these terms, so please be sure to read those licenses.

You may not copy, modify, distribute, sell, or lease any part of our services or software. Also, you may not reverse engineer or attempt to extract any of our source code unless you have our written permission or applicable law lets you do so.

When a service requires or includes downloadable software, that software sometimes updates automatically on your device once a new version or feature is available. Some services let you adjust your automatic update settings.

In case of problems or disagreements

By law, you have the right to (1) a certain quality of service, and (2) ways to fix problems if things go wrong. These terms don’t limit or take away any of those rights. For example, if you’re a consumer, then you continue to enjoy all legal rights granted to consumers under applicable law.

Disclaimers

The only commitments we make about our services (including the content in the services, the specific functions of our services, or their reliability, availability, or ability to meet your needs) are (1) stated in the service-specific additional terms or (2) provided under applicable laws. We don’t make any other commitments about our services.

Liabilities

For all users

These terms only limit our responsibilities as allowed by applicable law. Specifically, these terms don’t limit Google’s liability for death or personal injury, fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, gross negligence, or willful misconduct. In addition, these terms don’t limit your rights under product liability law.

For property damage or financial loss caused by Google, its representatives, or its agents due to slight negligence, Google is only liable for breaches of essential contractual obligations that result in typical damage foreseeable at the conclusion of the contract. An essential contractual obligation is an obligation that must be complied with as a prerequisite for the performance of the contract and that the parties may trust will be fulfilled. This does not change the burden of proof to your detriment.

For business users and organizations only

If you’re a business user or organization, then to the extent allowed by applicable law you’ll indemnify Google and its directors, officers, employees, and contractors for any third-party legal proceedings (including actions by government authorities) arising out of or relating to your unlawful use of the services or violation of these terms or service-specific additional terms. This indemnity covers any liability or expense arising from claims, losses, damages, judgments, fines, litigation costs, and legal fees. If you’re legally exempt from certain responsibilities such as indemnification, then those responsibilities don’t apply to you under these terms. For example, the United Nations enjoys certain immunities from legal obligations and these terms don’t override those immunities.

Taking action in case of problems

Before taking action as described below, we’ll provide you with advance notice when reasonably possible, describe the reason for our action, and give you an opportunity to fix the problem, unless there are objective and concrete reasons to believe that doing so would:

  • cause harm or liability to a user, third party, or Google
  • violate the law or a legal enforcement authority’s order
  • compromise an investigation
  • compromise the operation, integrity, or security of our services

Removing your content

If there are objective and concrete reasons to believe that any of your content (1) breaches these terms, service-specific additional terms or policies, (2) violates applicable law, or (3) could harm our users, third parties, or Google, then we reserve the right to take down some or all of that content in accordance with applicable law. Examples include child pornography, content that facilitates human trafficking or harassment, and content that infringes someone else’s intellectual property rights.

Suspending or terminating your access to Google services

Google reserves the right to suspend or terminate your access to the services or delete your Google Account if any of these things happen:

  • you materially or repeatedly breach these terms, service-specific additional terms or policies
  • we’re required to do so to comply with a legal requirement or a court order
  • there are objective and concrete reasons to believe that your conduct causes harm or liability to a user, third party, or Google — for example, by hacking, phishing, harassing, spamming, misleading others, or scraping content that doesn’t belong to you

If you believe your Google Account has been suspended or terminated in error, you can appeal.

Of course, you’re always free to stop using our services at any time. If you do stop using a service, we’d appreciate knowing why so that we can continue improving our services.

Handling requests for your data

Respect for the privacy and security of your data underpins our approach to responding to data disclosure requests. When we receive data disclosure requests, our team reviews them to make sure they satisfy legal requirements and Google’s data disclosure policies. Google Ireland Limited accesses and discloses data, including communications, in accordance with the laws of Ireland, and EU law applicable in Ireland. For more information about the data disclosure requests that Google receives worldwide, and how we respond to such requests, see our Transparency Report and Privacy Policy.

Settling disputes, governing law, and courts

For information about how to contact Google, please visit our contact page.

If you’re a resident of, or an organization based in, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, these terms and your relationship with Google under these terms and service-specific additional terms, are governed by the laws of your country of residence, and you can file legal disputes in your local courts.

If you’re a consumer living in the EEA, you may also file disputes regarding online purchases using the European Commission’s Online Dispute Resolution platform, which we accept if required by law.

About these terms

By law, you have certain rights that can’t be limited by a contract like these terms of service. These terms are in no way intended to restrict those rights.

We want to make these terms easy to understand, so we’ve used examples from our services. But not all services mentioned may be available in your country.

We may update these terms and service-specific additional terms (1) to reflect changes in our services or how we do business — for example, when we add new services, features, technologies, pricing, or benefits (or remove old ones), (2) for legal, regulatory, or security reasons, or (3) to prevent abuse or harm.

If we change these terms or service-specific additional terms, we’ll provide you with at least 15 days’ advance notice before the changes take effect. When we notify you of changes, we’ll provide you with the new version of the terms and point out the material changes. If you don’t object before the changes take effect, you’ll be deemed to have accepted the changed terms. Our notice will explain this objection process. You can refuse to accept the changes, in which case the changes won’t apply to you, but we reserve the right to end our relationship with you if all other termination requirements are met. You can also end your relationship with us at any time by closing your Google Account.

Definitions

affiliate

An entity that belongs to the Google group of companies, which means Google LLC and its subsidiaries, including the following companies that provide consumer services in the EU: Google Ireland Limited, Google Commerce Ltd, and Google Dialer Inc.

business user

An individual or entity who is not a consumer (see consumer).

consumer

An individual who uses Google services for personal, non-commercial purposes outside of their trade, business, craft, or profession. This includes “consumers” as defined in article 2.1 of the EU Consumer Rights Directive. (See business user)

A legal right that allows the creator of an original work (such as a blog post, photo, or video) to decide if and how that original work may be used by others.

disclaimer

A statement that limits someone’s legal responsibilities.

EU Platform-to-Business Regulation

The Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services.

indemnify or indemnity

An individual or organization’s contractual obligation to compensate the losses suffered by another individual or organization from legal proceedings such as lawsuits.

intellectual property rights (IP rights)

Rights over the creations of a person’s mind, such as inventions (patent rights); literary and artistic works (copyright); designs (design rights); and symbols, names, and images used in commerce (trademarks). IP rights may belong to you, another individual, or an organization.

organization

A legal entity (such as a corporation, non-profit, or school) and not an individual person.

services

Google services that are subject to these terms are the products and services listed at https://policies.google.com/terms/service-specific, including:

  • Google apps and sites (like Search and Maps)
  • platforms (like Google Play)
  • integrated services (like Maps embedded in other companies’ apps or sites)
  • devices (like Google Home)

trademark

Symbols, names, and images used in commerce that are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one individual or organization from those of another.

your content

Things that you write, upload, submit, store, send, receive, or share with Google using our services, such as:

  • Docs, Sheets, and Slides you create
  • blog posts you upload through Blogger
  • reviews you submit through Maps
  • videos you store in Drive
  • emails you send and receive through Gmail
  • pictures you share with friends through Photos
  • travel itineraries that you share with Google