Gmail is a free, search-based webmail service from Google.
With its unique search functionality, Gmail makes your mailbox and the rest
of the Internet easily accessible. We designed this innovative service with
both its usefulness and your privacy in mind. This policy describes the types
of personal information we may collect and how we use it to provide Gmail.
By using Gmail, you agree to the collection and use of your personal information
as described in this policy. If we make any significant changes to this policy,
we will notify you by posting a notice of such changes on the Gmail login
You should know:
- We collect limited account information and store and maintain your account
and email messages on our secure servers.
- We will never rent, sell or share information that personally identifies
you for marketing purposes without your express permission.
- We serve highly relevant ads and other information as part of the service
using our unique content-targeting technology. No human reads your email
to target ads or related information to you without your consent.
- You can update your account information and preferences at any time.
To comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act,
at this time Gmail is only available to users who are at least 13 years old.
If you are under 13, please do not use the Gmail service.
What types of personal information do we collect and how do we use
Account information. When you register with Google,
we will request some personal information, including your first and last name,
a user name (which will be used for your email address) and password to create
your account. Your password will be maintained on our system in an encrypted
form. Just in case you forget your password, we also may ask you to choose
a secret question and answer and provide a secondary email address where we
can contact you to re-access your Google account. If you already have a Google
account, we may ask you for some additional information to enable an email
Email contents and usage. The contents of your Gmail account also
are stored and maintained on Google servers in order to provide the service.
Google's computers process the information in your email for various purposes,
including formatting and displaying the information to you, delivering targeted
related information (such as advertisements and related links), preventing
unsolicited bulk email (spam), backing up your email, and other purposes relating
to offering you Gmail. Because we keep back-up copies of data for the purposes of
recovery from errors or system failure, residual copies of email may remain on our systems
for some time, even after you have deleted messages from your mailbox or after the termination
of your account. Google employees do not access the content of any mailboxes
unless you specifically request them to do so (for example, if you are having
technical difficulties accessing your account) or if required by law, to maintain
our system, or to protect Google or the public.
We also may collect information about the use of your account, such as how
much storage you are using, how often you log in and other information related
to your registration and use of Gmail. Information displayed or clicked on
in your Gmail account (including UI elements, ads, links, and other information)
is also recorded. We use this information internally to deliver the best possible
service to you, such as improving the Gmail user interface, preventing fraud
within our advertising system, and better targeting related information.
Google will never sell, rent or share your personal information,
including your Gmail address or email content, with any third parties for
marketing purposes without your express permission.
Cookies & log information.
Cookies. A cookie is a small data file that is sent
to your computer when you first visit a website. As with most website cookies,
our cookies include an identification number that is unique to the computer
you are using. This identifier helps us better understand our user base and
how they are using our site and services.
When you visit Google and create a Google account, we set and access cookies
you when you visit the site, displaying the site according to your chosen
user settings for language, and maintaining the security of your account.
Google may share cookie information among its other services for the purpose
of providing you a better experience. For example, you may use your Gmail
account to access other Google services such as Google Groups or Google Answers.
We may also use the cookies to collect aggregated information about the use
of Gmail to maintain, analyze and improve the service.
We believe our cookies improve the quality of our services. If you prefer,
however, you can reset your browser so that it refuses all cookies, or notifies
you when a cookie is being sent. Although you will still be able to use some
parts of Google, other parts of the site – including Gmail – may
Log information. When you use your Gmail account, we collect certain
information (the same information that most web sites log when they are accessed).
This information, contained in the "header" of your request to access
the Gmail page, usually includes the browser type you used, your Internet
Protocol address, and the date and time of day. In addition, we log the unique
ID provided by our cookie and the URL of the last site you visited.
As a basic matter, we need this information to help us provide our services
to you. For example, we need to validate your identity in order to maintain
the security of your mailbox. We also need to know what Internet Protocol
address your query came from so we can send the appropriate pages back to
In addition, we log this information for internal business purposes. For example,
this log information helps us determine how well our services are working
so we can continually improve the quality of Gmail. The log information is
also important for security, audit, quality improvement, and other internal
How we deliver targeted content to you.
We never share your personally identifying information with
any advertiser as part of this service, unless you specifically ask us to
do so. When you are logged into your Gmail account, Google will display targeted
ads and other relevant information based on the content of the email displayed.
In a completely automated process, computers process the text in a message
and match it to ads or related information in Google's extensive database.
No human reads your mail to target ads or other information without your consent.
Advertisers receive a record of the total number of impressions and clicks
for each ad. They do not receive any personal information about the person
who viewed the ad. If you click on an ad, Google will send a referring URL
to the advertiser's site identifying that you are visiting from Gmail. Google
does not send personally identifying information to advertisers with the referring
URL. Once you are on the advertiser's site, however, the advertiser may collect
personal information about you. Google does not control or take responsibility
for the privacy policies of other sites.
Google may send you information related to your Gmail account or other Google
services. Because we believe such information is important, you will not be
given the opportunity to opt-out of receiving them.
When we may disclose your personal information.
As a standard email protocol, when you send an email from
your Gmail account, Gmail includes your email address and user name in the
header of the email. Beyond this, we do not disclose your personally identifying
information to third parties unless we believe we are required to do so by
law or have a good faith belief that such access, preservation or disclosure
is reasonably necessary to (a) satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal
investigation of potential violations thereof, (c) detect, prevent, or otherwise
address fraud, security or technical issues (including, without limitation,
the filtering of spam), (d) respond to user support requests, or (e) protect
the rights, property or safety of Google, its users and the public.
Transfer of information.
Personal information collected by Google may be stored and
processed in the United States or any other country in which Google Inc. or
its agents maintain facilities. By using Gmail, you consent to any such transfer
of information outside of your country.
We reserve the right to transfer your personal information in the event of
a transfer of ownership of Google, such as acquisition by or merger with another
company. In such an event, Google will notify you before information is transferred
Updating your information.
You can change your Gmail account settings at any time in
the "Settings" section of your mailbox.
You can terminate your account at any time, by going to the account information
page. We typically deactivate accounts within two business days of such requests.
You should be aware, however, that residual copies of information may remain
stored on our systems even after the deletion of information or the termination
of your account.
How does Google safeguard your information?
We pay close attention to security. First, we focus significant
time and resources to ensure that user accounts and information are not misused
by Google employees. A limited set of employees are authorized to access user
accounts, they are educated about the importance of maintaining user privacy,
and their access to user accounts is recorded. Our employees are also contractually
required to access accounts and log data only for quality, security, audit,
and other internal business purposes. Second, we implement technology and
procedures to try to make sure that external parties cannot access or modify
users’ personal information on our servers. These technologies and procedures
include industry standard methods as well as our own proprietary methods.
We hope you will enjoy using Gmail.