25 Jan 2012 - 08 Sep 2022
Policies & Principles
  1. Overview
  2. FAQ
On March 1, 2012, we changed our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. We got rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replaced them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. The new policy and terms cover multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.
Should I take the time to read the new Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service?
Absolutely! Legal documents can make for dry reading, but these really matter. So whether you are new to Google or a long-time user, please take the time to get to know our practices. In case you’re pressed for time, here are answers to some of your questions.
What’s different about the new Privacy Policy?
First, we’ve rewritten the main Google Privacy Policy from top to bottom to be simpler and more readable. The new policy replaces more than 60 existing product-specific privacy documents. This all should make it easier for you to learn about what data we collect and how we use it.
Second, the new policy reflects our efforts to create one beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google. It makes clear that, if you have a Google Account and are signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we can treat you as a single user across all our products.
What’s different about the new Google Terms of Service?
We’ve rewritten them, too—to make them more readable and to reduce the repetition and legalese. The terms explain more simply the legal terms associated with the use of our services, including how we treat content that users submit. We’ve also consolidated many of our terms, with most products now using the Google Terms of Service and dozens fewer products than before using additional or separate terms.
What’s staying the same with Google’s approach to privacy?
Our goal remains to provide you with as much transparency and choice as possible, and our privacy principles remain unchanged. That’s why we support products like Google Dashboard, Ads Preferences Manager, and other tools that help you understand and manage your data. Moreover, we never sell personal information or share it without your permission (other than in rare circumstances like valid legal requests).
What choices do I have to control how my information is used?
You still have choice and control. You don’t need to sign in to use many of our services, including Search, Maps and YouTube. If you’re signed in, you can still edit or turn off your Search history, switch Gmail chat to “off the record,” control the way Google tailors ads to your interests, use Incognito mode on Chrome, or use any of the other privacy tools we offer. You can also create multiple Google Accounts – for example, a work account and a personal account – and Google will not use information from one account to enhance your experience in the other, including Google Accounts that use multiple sign-in. The Google Dashboard is an excellent starting point if you want to understand the data associated with each product you use and control your personal data settings on Google.
Is Google collecting more information about me?
No, Google is not collecting more data about you. Our new policy simply makes it clear that we use data to refine and improve your experience on Google across the services you sign in to use. This is something we’ve already been doing and we plan to continue doing in the future so we can provide a simpler, more intuitive experience.
Does this change mean Google plans to disclose information about me publicly?
Absolutely not. You still have choice and control in what you share. Our new policy simply makes it clear that when you’re signed in, we use data to refine and improve your own personal experience on Google. We’re making our policy simpler with this change and we’re trying to be upfront about it.
What should I expect to see change as a result of this?
Over time you can expect to see better search results, ads and other content when you’re using Google services. A more consistent user experience across Google might mean that we give you more accurate spelling suggestions because you’ve typed them before. Or maybe we can tell you that you’ll be late for a meeting based on your location, your calendar and the local traffic conditions. Google users still have to do too much heavy lifting, and we want to do a better job of helping them.
We’ll continue to work hard to make sure that any innovation is balanced with the appropriate level of privacy and security for our users, as we promise in our Privacy Principles.
What if I don’t want to use Google under the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service?
If you continue to use Google services after March 1, you’ll be doing so under the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. If you’d prefer to close your Google Account, you can follow the instructions in our help center. We remain committed to data liberation, so if you want to take your information elsewhere you can.
Under the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, will my private information in Google services remain private?
Yes. As before, we won’t share our users’ personal information without their permission except in very limited circumstances like a valid court order. For more detail, please read the section of the new Privacy Policy called “Information we share.”
Will Google sell my personal information to third parties?
No. We don’t sell our users’ personal information. It’s simply not how we operate.
Why are you keeping privacy notices for some products, like Books and Chrome, but not others?
In some cases, such as for financial services like Google Wallet, a product may be regulated by industry-specific privacy laws and require detailed descriptions of our practices. In others, like Chrome, we simply wanted to explain our privacy practices specific to those products in more detail. In these cases we chose to keep product-specific notices rather than clutter up the main Privacy Policy.
How can I see what Google knows about me?
Google Dashboard is a good start. It shows you what information is stored in your Google Account and enables you to change your privacy settings for many products from one central location.
We try hard to be transparent about the information we collect, and to give you meaningful choices about how it is used. To learn about more of the tools Google offers to help you manage your privacy, visit Good to Know.
What information is covered by the new Privacy Policy?
Our new Privacy Policy applies to all information stored with Google on March 1, 2012 and to information we collect after that date.