Google Chrome Privacy Notice

Archive: October 25, 2011

View current privacy policy | 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

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 browser. It also describes Google Chrome features that are available in other web browsers through Chrome Frame. Not all of the features in the Google Chrome browser are also available in Chrome Frame, but to keep things simple we’re going to use the term Chrome to mean both Chrome browser and Chrome Frame. Also remember that when using Chrome Frame you should read the privacy policy for the browser in which it is running (e.g. Internet Explorer). Google will notify you of any material changes to this policy, and you will always have the option to use Google Chrome in a way that does not send any personal information to Google or to discontinue using it.

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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 browser or Google Chrome Frame, or use them 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. Learn more about configuring cookies and site data in Google Chrome browser.

In addition, some Google Chrome features may 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 that the search engine’s autocomplete / prediction 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 predicted query or URL, Google Chrome will send that information to Google as well. Learn more about disabling the Chrome Autocomplete feature.
  • If you enable 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, Google 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 anonymous 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.
  • Google Chrome includes Google's Safe Browsing feature. Safe Browsing sends and receives information between Chrome and Google's servers about suspicious websites - for example when you visit a site that we think is a phishing or malware site. For more information about Safe Browsing, including details of what information is sent when and how to disable the feature, please visit the Safe Browsing Privacy Policy.
  • 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 the first time that Google Chrome automatically checks for updates. If you received your copy of Google Chrome as part of a promotional campaign it may generate a unique promotion number which is sent to Google only when you first run and first use Google Chrome after installation.
  • You may choose Google as your default search engine for Google Chrome, and you may also use Google Chrome to access other Google services such as Gmail. In either case, using Google Chrome to connect to Google services will not cause Google to receive any special or additional personally identifying information about you.The Privacy Policies of Gmail or other services apply when you access them, no matter which browser you use.
  • If you enable Google Chrome's synchronization feature, Google Chrome will store your browser 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 send it to other Chrome browsers in which you choose to enable Google Chrome's synchronization feature. Learn more about the specific information you may select to synchronize, and more about disabling Chrome’s synchronization feature.
  • 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 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 both the computer and the audio hardware you are using.
  • If you use Google Chrome’s AutoFill feature, which automatically completes web forms for you, Google Chrome will send Google limited information about the pages that have web forms, including a hashed representation of the host part of the URL of the page and the form's structure, so that we can improve our AutoFill service for this web form. 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 a web site, Google 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 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 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 Google 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.
  • 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, help us 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 store site data on your machine. You can restrict cookies and other site data by setting your preferences in the Google Chrome Options menu. If you enable Chrome’s network actions prediction feature and you visit a webpage, Google 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 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 only be temporarily stored and transmitted to sites while you remain in incognito mode. They will be deleted when you close the browser or close all open incognito windows.

If you choose to use 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 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 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 (though this information could still be stored elsewhere on your computer, e.g. in a list of recently opened files). New cookies received in incognito mode will not be saved after you close your browser or close all open incognito windows. 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—together referred to as an "addon"—on Google Chrome, the addon 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 certain 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 Google 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. Learn more about disabling Flash Player or any other plug-ins.

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 policies 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

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