Google Chrome Privacy Notice

Archive: March 26, 2013

Chrome Archive:   View current privacy policy | Version 03/26/2012 | Version 02/20/2013 | Version 10/18/2012 | Version 08/14/2012 | Version 06/26/2012 | Version 05/15/2012 | Version 02/08/2012 | Version 02/08/2012 | Version 12/13/2011 | Version 10/25/2011 | Version 05/02/2011 | Version 10/15/2010 | Version 05/04/2010 | Version 02/09/2010 | Version 12/08/2009 | Version 10/29/2009 | Version 06/04/2009

Chrome OS Archive:   Version 05/30/2011 | Version 05/03/2011

Chrome Frame Archive:   Version 09/17/2009

The Google Privacy Policy describes how we treat personal information when you use Google's products and services, including when you use Chrome browser and Chrome OS to access those products and services.

This Google Chrome Privacy Notice describes the privacy practices that are specific to the Chrome family of products. This includes the Chrome browser, Chrome Frame, Chrome OS, and Safe Browsing. Some of the features described in this Privacy Notice are available in other web browsers (e.g. you may choose to run Chrome Frame in Microsoft Internet Explorer or use Safe Browsing features in Mozilla Firefox), so remember that you should also read the privacy policy for the browser in which the features are running.

Not all of the features discussed in this Privacy Notice appear in all Chrome products. To keep things simple, however, we’re going to use the term “Chrome” on its own to refer to each of the products within the Chrome family -- including Chrome browser, Chrome Frame, and Chrome OS. Where an individual Chrome product works in a different way we’ll be sure to highlight that.

For early adopters who want to test features that are still under development, we make available preview versions (also known as beta, dev, and canary) of Chrome browser and Chrome OS in addition to the stable version. Although this Google Chrome Privacy Notice applies to the stable and preview versions, it may not be fully up to date when describing features still under development in the preview versions.

Google will notify you of any material changes to this policy, and you will always have the option to use Chrome in a way that does not send any personally identifiable information to Google, or to remove your information and discontinue using it.

For step-by-step guides to help manage your privacy preferences read our guide to Browsers, Google Chrome, Privacy and You

Information Google receives when you use Chrome

You do not need to provide any personally identifying information in order to use Chrome.

When you use any browser, including Chrome, to contact Google’s servers, by default Google receives standard log information including your system’s IP address and one or more cookies. You can configure Chrome browser and Chrome OS to not accept cookies from Google or other sites. Learn more about configuring cookies and site data in Chrome browser and Chrome OS.

If you use Chrome to access other Google services, such as using the search engine on the Google homepage or checking Gmail, the fact that you are using Chrome does not cause Google to receive any special or additional personally identifying information about you.

In addition, some Chrome features may send limited additional information to Google or your default search engine:

  • If you use the Multiple Users feature of Chrome browser, you can set up personalized copies of Chrome browser for users who are sharing the same computing device. It isn’t intended to secure your data against other people using your device - so anyone with access to your device can view all the information in all profiles. To truly protect your data from being seen by others, use the built-in user accounts in your operating system.
  • If you choose Google as your search engine, Chrome will contact Google when it starts or when you change networks so as to determine the best local web address to send search queries. When you type URLs or queries in the Chrome address bar (omnibox), the letters you type may be sent to your default search engine, so that the search engine’s prediction feature can automatically recommend terms or URLs you may be looking for. If you accept a predicted query or URL, Chrome may send that information from the browser to your default search engine as well. Learn more about disabling server predictions in the omnibox.
  • If you use Chrome’s Instant feature and it is supported by your default search engine, search results and in-line predictions appear instantly as you type in the address bar. Search results are requested as you type in the address bar, so the text you type may be logged as search terms. For some helpful examples of Google’s logging policies for Chrome Instant, see our “Logging Policies for Chrome Instant” help center article.
  • If you navigate to a URL that does not exist, Chrome may send the URL to Google so we can help you find the URL you were looking for. We may also use this information in an aggregated way to help other web users - e.g. to let them know that the site may be down. Learn more about disabling suggestions on navigation errors.
  • Chrome periodically contacts Google to perform functions such as checking for updates, checking connectivity status, validating current time, and estimating the number of active users. Each copy of Chrome browser includes a temporary randomly-generated installation number which will be sent to Google when you install and first use the product. The temporary number will be promptly deleted the first time that Chrome browser automatically checks for updates. If you received or reactivated your copy of the Chrome browser as part of a promotional campaign, it may also generate a non-unique promotional tag which is sent to Google when performing searches with Google and a unique token which is sent to Google when you first run and use the browser after installation, reinstallation, or reactivation. Chrome OS may send a non-unique promotional tag to Google periodically (including during initial set up) and when performing searches with Google. Furthermore, field trials may result in different variations of Chrome, and Chrome may send non-unique information to Google about which variation is active.
  • Chrome contacts Google when a user signs in to determine if the user account is subject to policies of an enterprise admin. Chrome OS also contacts Google during initial device setup to determine if the device is subject to policies of an enterprise admin. This process involves sending part of a hash of the device's serial number to Google and receiving back a list of hashed device serial numbers for devices configured by enterprise admins to be enterprise devices. For user accounts and Chrome OS devices subject to enterprise policies, Chrome will check periodically for updates to these policies. Enterprise policies may involve status and activity reporting for Chrome (including location information for Chrome OS devices) set up by the enterprise admin.
  • If you sign in to Chrome browser or Chrome OS with your Google Account, this will enable the synchronization feature. Google will store certain information, such as bookmarks, history and other settings, 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 make it available to you on other instances of Chrome in which you choose to sign in. Learn more about the specific information you may select to synchronize, and more about disabling Chrome’s synchronization feature in Chrome browser.
  • If you sign into Chrome OS with your Google Account or enable offline use of a Google application in Chrome browser, Chrome may contact Google’s servers and synchronize your data with a local copy to enable offline functionality.
  • If you use the Translate feature of Chrome, it will send the text you choose to be translated to Google for translation.
  • If you use the Spellcheck feature of Chrome, which lets you use the same technology used in Google search to check your spelling, it will send the text you type to Google for spelling and grammar suggestions.
  • If you use the speech input feature of Chrome, it will send Google an audio recording of your spoken query, 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 and you use the speech input feature, additional information will be sent to Google. This information includes the URL of the website using speech input, your operating system, and the manufacturer and model of the computing device and audio hardware you are using.
  • If you use Chrome’s AutoFill feature, which automatically completes web forms for you based on similar forms you have filled out before, Chrome will send Google limited information about the pages that have web forms, including a hashed URL of the web page and details of the form's structure, so that we can improve our AutoFill service for this web form. While the information that Chrome sends may include the fact that you typed information into the form, the actual text that you type in the fields will not be sent to Google unless you choose to store that data in your Google Account using Chrome’s synchronization feature.
  • If you use Chrome’s location feature, which allows you to share your location with a web site, Chrome will send local network information to Google Location Services to get an estimated location. Learn more about Google Location Services and enabling / disabling location features within Google Chrome. The local network information may include (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 the IP address that is currently assigned to your device. We use the information to process the location request and to operate, support, and improve the overall quality of Chrome and Google Location Services. The collected information described 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.
  • If you attempt to connect to a Google website using a secure connection, and the browser blocks the connection due to information that indicates you are being actively attacked by someone on the network (a “man in the middle attack”), Chrome may send information about that connection to Google for the purpose of helping to determine the extent of the attack and how the attack functions.
  • You may choose to send usage statistics and crash reports to Google. You can manage this setting within the Chrome preferences page; for Chrome OS users, usage statistics and crash reports are enabled by default. This setting will apply to all users for a given installation of Chrome. The usage statistics and crash reports help us diagnose problems, help us understand how users interact with Chrome, and help us improve Chrome's performance. 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 Google receives when you use the Safe Browsing feature on Chrome or other browsers

Google Chrome and certain third party browsers (including some versions of Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari) includes Google's Safe Browsing feature. Safe Browsing sends and receives information between the browser you are using and Google's servers about suspicious websites -- for example when you visit a site that is suspected to be a phishing or malware site.

Your browser will contact Google’s servers periodically to download the most recent “Safe Browsing” list, containing known phishing and malware sites. Google does not collect any account information or other personally identifying information as part of this contact, but it does receive standard log information, including an IP address and one or more cookies. The most recent copy of the list is stored locally on your system.

Each site you visit will be checked against the Safe Browsing list on your system. If there is a match against the list, your browser will send Google a hashed, partial copy of the site’s URL so that Google can send more information to your browser. Google cannot determine the real URL from this information. Read more information about how this works.

In addition, the following Safe Browsing features are specific to Chrome:

  • Some versions of Chrome feature Safe Browsing technology that can identify potentially harmful sites and executable file downloads not already known by Google. Information regarding a potentially harmful site or executable file download (including the full URL of the site or executable file download) may be sent to Google to help determine whether the site or download is harmful. Google does not collect any account information or other personally identifying information as part of this contact, but does receive standard log information, including an IP address, URL visited and one or more cookies.
  • You can choose to send additional data to help improve Safe Browsing when you access a site that appears to contain malware. This data is sent when you close or navigate away from a Safe Browsing warning page. The reports contain data, such as the URL and contents of the website as well as the URL of the page that directed you to that site, that can be used by Google to verify whether the site is still serving content that may exploit users.
  • If usage statistics are enabled in Chrome and you visit a site that we think could be potentially harmful, certain additional 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 Safe Browsing list.
  • You can always choose to disable the Safe Browsing feature within Chrome.

Information website operators receive when you visit a site using Chrome

Sites that you visit using Chrome will automatically receive standard log information similar to that received by Google. These sites may also set their own cookies or store site data on your system. You can restrict cookies and other site data in Chrome's preferences page.

If you enable Chrome’s network actions prediction feature and you visit a webpage, Chrome may look up the IP addresses of all links on the webpage and open network connections to load webpages faster. Sites can also use pre-rendering technology to pre-load the links that you might click next.

If you use Chrome in incognito mode (or in guest mode on Chrome OS), it will not transmit any pre-existing cookies to sites that you visit. Sites may deposit new cookies on your system while you are in these modes; these cookies will only be temporarily stored and transmitted to sites while you remain in incognito / guest mode. They will be deleted when you close the browser, close all open incognito windows or exit guest mode.

If you choose to use Chrome’s location feature, this service allows you to share your location with a site. Chrome will not allow a site to access your location without your permission. Google does not have control over third party websites or their privacy practices. Please carefully consider any website’s privacy practices before consenting to share your location with that website.

Information stored on your system when you use Chrome

Chrome stores some information locally on your system. This may include:

  • Basic browsing history information, for example the URLs of pages that you visit, a cache file of text and images 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 system by websites you visit
  • Locally-stored data saved by Add-ons
  • A record of downloads you have made from websites
  • A unique device identifier generated by Chrome OS which may be required by third party services for access to their content. You can disable this feature in the Chrome OS settings.

You can always choose to delete your browsing history information, in whole or in part.

You can also limit the information Chrome stores on your system by using incognito mode (or guest mode on Chrome OS). In these modes, Chrome 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 (although this information could still be stored elsewhere on your system, e.g. in a list of recently opened files). New cookies received in these modes will not be saved after you close your browser, close all open incognito windows or exit guest mode. You can see when you are in incognito / guest 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 / guest mode.

You can choose to have Chrome save your passwords for specific websites. Stored passwords can be reviewed in Chrome settings.

Using apps, extensions, themes, services, and other add-ons with Chrome

You may use apps, extensions, themes, services and other add-ons (“Add-ons”) with Chrome, including some that may be pre-installed or integrated with Chrome and some that you may obtain from Chrome Web Store or other sources.

Before installing an Add-on, you should review the requested permissions. Add-ons may be designed to store, access, and share locally-stored data. Add-ons may use notifications that are sent through Google servers. Chrome may check for, download, and install updates to your Add-ons. Chrome may send usage indicators to Google for installed Add-ons.

From time to time, Google may discover an Add-on that violates the developer terms for Chrome Web Store or other legal agreements, laws, regulations or policies. Chrome may periodically download a list of such Add-ons from Google’s servers, and Google may remotely disable or remove such Add-ons from user systems in its sole discretion.

Add-ons developed and provided by Google may communicate with Google servers and are subject to the Google Privacy Policy unless otherwise indicated. Add-ons developed and provided by third parties are the responsibility of such third parties and may be subject to third party privacy policies. For example, a version of the Adobe Flash Player plug-in is preinstalled with Chrome. Adobe’s website at www.adobe.com provides more information on Adobe’s privacy practices with regard to Flash Player, and you can learn more about disabling Flash Player or any other plug-ins.

Uses

Information that Google receives when you use Chrome is processed in order to operate and improve Chrome and other Google services. Information that other website operators receive is subject to the privacy policies of those websites. Chrome stores information on your system in order to improve Chrome’s performance and to provide you with useful features and services.

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 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)