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We want you to understand the types of information we collect as you use our services
We collect information to provide better services to all our users — from figuring out basic stuff like which language you speak, to more complex things like which ads you’ll find most useful, the people who matter most to you online, or which YouTube videos you might like. The information Google collects, and how that information is used, depends on how you use our services and how you manage your privacy controls.
When you’re not signed in to a Google Account, we store the information we collect with unique identifiers tied to the browser, application, or device you’re using. This helps us do things like maintain your language preferences across browsing sessions.
When you’re signed in, we also collect information that we store with your Google Account, which we treat as personal information.
We collect information about the apps, browsers, and devices you use to access Google services, which helps us provide features like automatic product updates and dimming your screen if your battery runs low.
The information we collect includes unique identifiers, browser type and settings, device type and settings, operating system, mobile network information including carrier name and phone number, and application version number. We also collect information about the interaction of your apps, browsers, and devices with our services, including IP address, crash reports, system activity, and the date, time, and referrer URL of your request.
We collect this information when a Google service on your device contacts our servers — for example, when you install an app from the Play Store or when a service checks for automatic updates. If you’re using an Android device with Google apps, your device periodically contacts Google servers to provide information about your device and connection to our services. This information includes things like your device type, carrier name, crash reports, and which apps you've installed.
We collect information about your activity in our services, which we use to do things like recommend a YouTube video you might like. The activity information we collect may include:
If you use our services to make and receive calls or send and receive messages, we may collect telephony log information like your phone number, calling-party number, receiving-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls and messages, duration of calls, routing information, and types of calls.
You can visit your Google Account to find and manage activity information that’s saved in your account.
We collect information about your location when you use our services, which helps us offer features like driving directions for your weekend getaway or showtimes for movies playing near you.
Your location can be determined with varying degrees of accuracy by:
The types of location data we collect depend in part on your device and account settings. For example, you can turn your Android device’s location on or off using the device’s settings app. You can also turn on Location History if you want to create a private map of where you go with your signed-in devices.
In some circumstances, Google also collects information about you from publicly accessible sources. For example, if your name appears in your local newspaper, Google’s Search engine may index that article and display it to other people if they search for your name. We may also collect information about you from trusted partners, including marketing partners who provide us with information about potential customers of our business services, and security partners who provide us with information to protect against abuse. We also receive information from advertisers to provide advertising and research services on their behalf.
We use data to build better services
We use the information we collect from all our services for the following purposes:
We use your information to deliver our services, like processing the terms you search for in order to return results or helping you share content by suggesting recipients from your contacts.
We also use your information to ensure our services are working as intended, such as tracking outages or troubleshooting issues that you report to us. And we use your information to make improvements to our services — for example, understanding which search terms are most frequently misspelled helps us improve spell-check features used across our services.
We use the information we collect in existing services to help us develop new ones. For example, understanding how people organized their photos in Picasa, Google’s first photos app, helped us design and launch Google Photos.
We use the information we collect to customize our services for you, including providing recommendations, personalized content, and customized search results. For example, Security Checkup provides security tips adapted to how you use Google products. And Google Play uses information like apps you’ve already installed and videos you’ve watched on YouTube to suggest new apps you might like.
Depending on your settings, we may also show you personalized ads based on your interests. For example, if you search for “mountain bikes,” you may see an ad for sports equipment when you’re browsing a site that shows ads served by Google. You can control what information we use to show you ads by visiting your ad settings.
We use data for analytics and measurement to understand how our services are used. For example, we analyze data about your visits to our sites to do things like optimize product design. And we also use data about the ads you interact with to help advertisers understand the performance of their ad campaigns. We use a variety of tools to do this, including Google Analytics. When you visit sites that use Google Analytics, Google and a Google Analytics customer may link information about your activity from that site with activity from other sites that use our ad services.
We use information we collect, like your email address, to interact with you directly. For example, we may send you a notification if we detect suspicious activity, like an attempt to sign in to your Google Account from an unusual location. Or we may let you know about upcoming changes or improvements to our services. And if you contact Google, we’ll keep a record of your request in order to help solve any issues you might be facing.
We use information to help improve the safety and reliability of our services. This includes detecting, preventing, and responding to fraud, abuse, security risks, and technical issues that could harm Google, our users, or the public.
We use different technologies to process your information for these purposes. We use automated systems that analyze your content to provide you with things like customized search results, personalized ads, or other features tailored to how you use our services. And we analyze your content to help us detect abuse such as spam, malware, and illegal content. We also use algorithms to recognize patterns in data. For example, Google Translate helps people communicate across languages by detecting common language patterns in phrases you ask it to translate.
We may combine the information we collect among our services and across your devices for the purposes described above. For example, if you watch videos of guitar players on YouTube, you might see an ad for guitar lessons on a site that uses our ad products. Depending on your account settings, your activity on other sites and apps may be associated with your personal information in order to improve Google’s services and the ads delivered by Google.
If other users already have your email address or other information that identifies you, we may show them your publicly visible Google Account information, such as your name and photo. This helps people identify an email coming from you, for example.