Privacy Policy

This is an archived version of our Privacy Policy.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

Last modified: 1 March 2012

There are many different ways for you to use our services – to search for and share information, to communicate with other people or to create new content. When you share information with us, for example by creating a Google Account, we can make those services even better – to show you more relevant search results and ads, to help you connect with people or to make sharing with others quicker and easier. As you use our services, we want you to be clear how we’re using information and the ways in which you can protect your privacy.

Our Privacy Policy explains:

We’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible, but if you’re not familiar with terms, such as cookies, IP addresses, pixel tags and browsers, then read about these key terms first. Your privacy matters to Google, so whether you are new to Google or a long-time user, please do take the time to get to know our practices – and if you have any questions, contact us.

Information that we collect

We collect information to provide better services to all of our users – from basics, such as which language you speak to more complex things, such as which ads you’ll find most useful or the people who matter most to you online.

We collect information in two ways:

How we use information that we collect

We use the information that we collect from all of our services to provide, maintain, protect and improve them, to develop new ones and to protect Google and our users. We also use this information to offer you tailored content – such as giving you more relevant search results and ads.

We may use the name that you provide for your Google Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Google Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Google Account, so that you are represented consistently across all our services. If other users already have your email or other information that identifies you, we may show them your publicly visible Google Profile information, such as your name and photo.

When you contact Google, we may keep a record of your communication to help resolve any issues that you might be facing. We may use your email address to inform you about our services, such as letting you know about upcoming changes or improvements.

We use information collected from cookies and other technologies, like pixel tags, to improve your user experience and the overall quality of our services. For example, by saving your language preferences, we’ll be able to provide you our services in your preferred language. When showing you tailored ads, we will not associate a cookie or anonymous identifier with sensitive categories, such as those based on race, religion, sexual orientation or health.

We may combine personal information from one service with information, including personal information, from other Google services – for example, to make it easier to share things with people you know. We will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent.

We will ask for your consent before using information for a purpose other than those set out in this Privacy Policy.

Google processes personal information on our servers in many countries around the world. We may process your personal information on a server located outside the country where you live.

Transparency and choice

People have different privacy concerns. Our goal is to be clear about what information we collect, so that you can make meaningful choices about how it is used. For example, you can:

You may also set your browser to block all cookies, including cookies associated with our services, or to indicate when a cookie is being set by us. However, it’s important to remember that many of our services may not function properly if your cookies are disabled. For example, we may not remember your language preferences.

Information that you share

Many of our services let you share information with others. Remember that when you share information publicly, it may be indexable by search engines, including Google. Our services provide you with different options for sharing and removing your content.

Accessing and updating your personal information

Whenever you use our services, we aim to provide you with access to your personal information. If that information is wrong, we strive to give you ways to update it quickly or to delete it – unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business or legal purposes. When updating your personal information, we may ask you to verify your identity before we can act on your request.

We may reject requests that are unreasonably repetitive, require disproportionate technical effort (for example, developing a new system or fundamentally changing an existing practice), risk the privacy of others or would be extremely impractical (for instance, requests concerning information residing on backup tapes).

Where we can provide information access and correction, we will do so free of charge, except where it would require a disproportionate effort. We aim to maintain our services in a manner that protects information from accidental or malicious destruction. Because of this, after you delete information from our services, we may not immediately delete residual copies from our active servers and may not remove information from our backup systems.

Information that we share

We do not share personal information with companies, organisations and individuals outside Google unless one of the following circumstances applies:

We may share aggregated, non-personally identifiable information publicly and with our partners, such as publishers, advertisers or connected sites. For example, we may share information publicly to show trends about the general use of our services.

If Google is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, we will continue to ensure the confidentiality of any personal information and give affected users notice before personal information is transferred or becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

Information security

We work hard to protect Google and our users from unauthorised access to or unauthorised alteration, disclosure or destruction of information that we hold. In particular:

Application

Our Privacy Policy applies to all of the services offered by Google Inc. and its affiliates, including services offered on other sites (such as our advertising services), but excludes services with separate privacy policies that do not incorporate this Privacy Policy.

Our Privacy Policy does not apply to services offered by other companies or individuals, including products or sites that may be displayed to you in search results, sites that may include Google services or other sites linked from our services. Our Privacy Policy does not cover the information practices of other companies and organisations that advertise our services and that may use cookies, pixel tags and other technologies to serve and offer relevant ads.

Enforcement

We regularly review our compliance with our Privacy Policy. We also adhere to several self-regulatory frameworks. When we receive formal written complaints, we will contact the person who made the complaint to follow up. We work with the appropriate regulatory authorities, including local data protection authorities, to resolve any complaints regarding the transfer of personal data that we cannot resolve with our users directly.

Changes

Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time. We will not reduce your rights under this Privacy Policy without your explicit consent. We will post any Privacy Policy changes on this page and, if the changes are significant, we will provide a more prominent notice (including, for certain services, email notification of Privacy Policy changes). We will also keep prior versions of this Privacy Policy in an archive for your review.

Specific product practices

The following notices explain specific privacy practices with respect to certain Google products and services that you may use: