Archive: Google Chrome Privacy Notice

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Last modified: May 2, 2011 (view archived versions)

The Google Privacy Policy describes how we treat personal information when you use Google's products and services, including information provided when you use Google Chrome. In addition, the following describes our privacy practices that are specific to Google Chrome. Google will notify you of any material changes to this policy, and you will always have the option to use the browser in a way that does not send any personal information to Google or to discontinue using it.

More on Browsers, Google Chrome, Privacy and You »

Information Google receives when you use Google Chrome

You do not need to provide any personally identifying information in order to download and use Google Chrome. When you download Google Chrome or use it to contact Google’s servers, Google receives only standard log information including your machine’s IP address and one or more cookies. You can configure Google Chrome to not send cookies to Google or other sites as explained here.

In addition, some Google Chrome features send limited additional information to Google:

  • When you type URLs or queries in the address bar, the letters you type are sent to your default search engine so the Suggest feature can automatically recommend terms or URLs you may be looking for. If you choose Google as your search engine, Google Chrome will contact Google when it starts so as to determine the best local address to send search queries. If you choose to share usage statistics with Google and you accept a suggested query or URL, Google Chrome will send that information to Google as well. You can disable this feature as explained here.
  • If you navigate to a URL that does not exist, Google Chrome may send the URL to Google so we can help you find the URL you were looking for. You can disable this feature as explained here.
  • Google Chrome's SafeBrowsing feature periodically contacts Google's servers to download the most recent list of known phishing and malware sites. When you visit a site that we think is a phishing or malware site, your browser will send Google a hashed, partial copy of the site's URL so that we can send more information about the risky URL. Google cannot determine the real URL you are visiting solely from this information. In addition, if you have chosen to share usage statistics with Google and you visit a site that we think could be a phishing or malware site, certain other data will be shared with Google, including the full URL that you visited, the "referer" header sent to that page, and the URL that matched the Google Safe Browsing malware list. You can disable the Google Safe Browsing service as described here, or you can opt-out of sharing usage statistics with Google as described here. More information about how this works is here.
  • Google Chrome automatically checks for updates by contacting Google. Your copy of Google Chrome includes a temporary randomly-generated installation number which will be sent to Google when you install and first use Google Chrome. The temporary number will be promptly deleted when Google Chrome automatically checks for updates. If you received your copy of Google Chrome as part of a promotional campaign, your copy may generate a unique promotion number which is sent to Google only when you first run and first use Google Chrome.
  • You may choose Google as your search engine using Google Chrome, and you may also use Google Chrome to access other Google services such as Gmail. The Privacy Policies of Gmail or other services apply when you access them, no matter which browser you use. Using Google Chrome to connect to Google services will not cause Google to receive any special or additional personally identifying information about you.
  • If you enable Google Chrome's synchronization feature, Google Chrome will store your browser setting information, such as your bookmark data, on Google's servers in association with your Google Account. Information stored with your Account is protected by the Google Privacy Policy. We need to store this information in order to send it to other computers on which you choose to enable Google Chrome's synchronization feature. More details on the specific information you may select to synchronize is here. You can disable this feature as explained here.
  • If you use the Translate feature of Google Chrome, it will send the text you choose to be translated to Google for translation.
  • If you use the speech input feature of Google Chrome, it will send to Google an audio recording of your speech, your default browser language and the grammar settings of the web page for which you are using speech input. Google will use this information to convert the recorded audio into text. If you have enabled usage statistics and crash reports, then when you use the speech input feature additional information will be sent to Google including the URL of the website using speech input, and the manufacturer and model of both the computer and audio hardware you are using and your operating system.
  • If you enable the optional AutoFill feature, which automatically completes web forms for you, Google Chrome will send Google limited information about the structure of pages that have web forms and information such as the arrangement of the form so that we can improve our AutoFill service for that page. While the information Google Chrome sends may include the fact that you typed in the form, the actual text that you type in the fields will not be sent to Google unless you choose to save that data with your account using Google Chrome’s synchronization feature.
  • If you use Google Chrome’s location feature which allows you to share your location with any site, Google Chrome will send local network information to Google Location Services to get an estimated location. The local network information includes, depending on the capabilities of your device, information about the wifi routers closest to you, cell ids of the cell towers closest to you, the strength of your wifi or cell signal, and information about your device such as your device’s IP address. We use the information to process the location request and to operate, support, and improve the overall quality of Google Chrome and Google Location Services. Information collected above will be anonymized and aggregated before being used by Google to develop new features or products and services, or to improve the overall quality of any of Google’s other products and services.
  • You may choose to send usage statistics and crash reports to Google. The usage statistics and crash reports help us diagnose problems with the browser, understand how users interact with the browser, and help us improve its performance. Google Chrome tries to avoid sending information that identifies you personally. Crash reports, however, can contain information from files, applications and services that were running at the time of a malfunction. We may share with third parties certain aggregated, non-personal information we derive from our analysis, such as how frequently certain types of crashes occur.

Information website operators receive when you visit a site using Google Chrome

Sites that you visit using Google Chrome will automatically receive standard log information similar to that received by Google. These sites may also set their own cookies or use web storage on your machine. You can restrict cookies by setting your preferences in the Google Chrome Options menu. If you use Google Chrome in incognito mode, it will not transmit any pre-existing cookies to sites that you visit. Sites may deposit new cookies on your machine while you are in incognito mode, however. These cookies will be temporarily stored and transmitted to sites while you remain in incognito mode. They will be deleted when you close the browser or return to normal browsing mode.

If you opt-in to using Google Chrome’s location feature, this service allows you to share your location with a site. We will not allow a site to access your location without your permission. If the site is a non-Google website, we do not have control over the website or its privacy practices. Please carefully consider any website’s privacy practices before consenting to share your location with that website.

Information stored on your computer when you use Google Chrome

Google Chrome records useful information about your browsing history on your own computer. This includes:

  • Basic browsing history information: the URLs of pages that you visit, a cache file of text from those pages, and a list of some IP addresses linked from pages that you visit.
  • A searchable index of most pages you visit (except for secure pages with "https" web addresses, such as some bank pages)
  • Thumbnail-sized screenshots of most pages you visit
  • Cookies or web storage data deposited on your machine by websites you visit
  • A record of downloads you have made from websites

You can delete all or portions of this history at any time as explained in the FAQ.

You can also limit the information Google Chrome saves on your computer by using incognito mode. In this mode, the browser will not store basic browsing history information such as URLs, cached page text, or IP addresses of pages linked from the websites you visit. It will also not store snapshots of pages that you visit or keep a record of your downloads. (This information could still be stored elsewhere on your computer, though.) New cookies received in incognito mode will not be saved after you close your browser or return to normal browsing mode. You can see when you are in incognito mode because the incognito icon appears in the top corner of your browser; in some cases the border of your browser window may also change color.

When you make changes to your browser configuration, such as by bookmarking a web page or changing your settings, this information is also saved. These changes are not affected by incognito mode.

You can choose to have Google Chrome save your passwords for specific websites. Stored passwords can be reviewed in the Personal Stuff tab of the Options dialog box.

Information relating to using applications, extensions and plugins on Google Chrome

If you install an application or extension—referred to as an "addon"—on Google Chrome, it can store data locally and send any data it has permission to access to any third party server that it has permission to communicate with. Therefore you should be very careful that you know and trust the developer of the addon. When you download an addon, you will be notified of the permissions that you are giving the addon. Google Chrome saves a list of all your addons on your computer, together with the URL for updates and the category of permissions required by the addon to operate. Periodically, Google Chrome will use this information to check for updates to the addons and to download and install updates automatically. In addition, Google Chrome will store a list of addons known to be harmful or illegal, for use in the event that it is necessary to disable or remove an addon from your computer. Periodically, Google Chrome will download or update this list.

If you use addons installed from the Chrome Web Store, your browser will send us one or more usage indicators when you first install an addon, when Google Chrome checks for updates for the addon, and when you uninstall the addon. The usage indicators include whether you have used the addon and an indication of the number of days passed since the last such report was performed. We will use this information to track usage data about the addon and to rank the popularity of addons. We will not use this information to identify you or associate this information with your personal information. We may publicize aggregate usage data and popularity rankings, including on the Chrome Web Store.

If you install a plug-in on Google Chrome, any data processed by the plug-in will be handled in accordance with the policies of the developer of the plug-in. Google Chrome comes bundled with a version of the popular Adobe Flash Player plug-in. You can consult Adobe’s website at www.adobe.com for more information on Adobe’s privacy practices with regard to Flash Player. You can disable Flash Player or any other plug-ins as explained here.

Uses

Information that Google receives when you use Google Chrome is processed in order to operate and improve Google Chrome and other Google services. Information that other website operators receive is subject to the privacy polices of those websites. Google Chrome stores information on your machine in order to improve the browser’s performance and provide you with features, such the option to review snapshots from pages you have visited.

More information

Google adheres to the US Safe Harbor privacy principles. For more information about the Safe Harbor framework or our registration, see the Department of Commerce's web site.

Further information about Google Chrome is available here.

For more information about our privacy practices, go to the full privacy policy. If you have additional questions, please contact us any time. Or write to us at:

Privacy Matters
c/o Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043 (USA)