Google Panel Privacy Policy

Last modified: October 2, 2019

Thank you for agreeing to participate in the Google Panel ("Panel"), which helps Google better understand how consumers use technology and digital media. 

Summary

Google collects data through its meters, including, for example:

  • The content and advertising shown on your devices, and your interactions with that content and advertising, including videos you watched, your emails and SMS, and web pages you've visited.

  • Information you input (e.g., text you type) into your devices.

  • Cookies and device information.

You can temporarily pause or turn off metering at any time.

In addition, Google may combine this data with other data collected by Google when you're using Google products and services as a Google user. For example, we may combine your panel data with information in your Google Account(s) (e.g., which ads you viewed), or with anonymous or pseudonymous identifiers (such as cookies or unique device identifiers) used by Google products and services.

Google will use the data above in connection with existing Google products and services, to provide, maintain, and improve them, and to develop new ones. For example, we may use this data to conduct analytics and measurement to understand how our services are used, as well as conduct ads-related market research.  As another example, we may use this data to improve Google products such as Search, Android, YouTube and Google Assistant. 

Google may also share this data with trusted third parties, who we require to take appropriate confidentiality and security measures to protect data and also maintain their own privacy policies.  

 

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully because it explains how Google LLC ("Google") will collect, store, use, and share information obtained from the hardware, software, and other panel metering technology (collectively "Meters") used in connection with the Panel.

Google's Panel Partners

Google may work with its affiliates and other companies ("Panel Partners") to manage and administer Panels, including the recruitment, vetting, and registration of panelists, distribution of Meters, collection and processing of data, management and distribution of panelist incentives and awards, and communication with panelists about Panel administration and compliance with policies and procedures.

Devices and Metering Technology

As part of your participation in the Panel, Google and its Panel Partners will provide you with the Meters, which you may be asked to install or may be installed in your home by qualified employees or subcontractors of Google or a Panel Partner. These Meters help Google learn about your interaction with technology and digital media on various devices. This includes your desktop and laptop computers, wireless routers, mobile phones, tablets, wearable devices, automotive items connected to the Internet, and other devices you may use to consume and interact with digital content throughout the day.

Another important part of your participation in the Panel is allowing Google and Panel Partners to meter and understand behavior in your household, for example, who is watching a particular program on a particular device in a particular room. Accordingly, the Meters also gather information from shared devices in your household, including tablets, televisions, game consoles, cable and TV set top boxes, and other devices used in your household to consume and interact with digital content.

"Digital media" and "digital content" are defined broadly to include your interactions with Internet browsers and websites, mobile and tablet applications and software, the devices you use to access digital media and digital content, TV content, and any other electronic delivery systems of digital content.

Information We Collect

This section describes the Meter Data and Survey Data (collectively referred to as "Panel Data") that Google and its Panel Partners may collect.

Meter Data. The Meters you've agreed to install on your devices may collect the following types of information ("Meter Data"):

  • Use of Your Devices. When a Meter is placed on a device, it potentially will collect and record all interactions with that device. For example, when a Meter is placed on your mobile phone, it potentially will record everything you see on your screen and everything you tap, type, swipe, or otherwise input. You’ll see more examples below, as well as information about how to temporarily pause metering.

    • Content and Advertising. The content and advertising shown on or broadcast from your devices, and your interactions with that content and advertising, including:

      • Internet Activity. Your Internet browsing activities and interactions with content on the web, including:

        • Every web page you've visited and all of your interactions with those web pages, including all URL data (for both HTTP and HTTPS websites), destination IP addresses (which indicate the websites you've visited), and the length of time you spent visiting websites.

        • Data about the Internet browser you're using (e.g., Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox) and your browser settings.

      • Apps and Operating Systems. Your use of applications and widgets (collectively "apps"), software, and operating systems, including the apps you download and use on your devices, and your interactions with those apps, including opening, closing, or uninstalling, and the duration of your use.

      • Telephone, Emails, SMS, Instant Messaging, and Other Communications Services. Your use of telephony, electronic mail, SMS, instant messaging, and other communications services on your devices, including:

        • The timestamp and duration of telephone calls made or received, and information about the network used to place the call.

        • The timestamp of emails, SMS, or MMS text messages sent or received, SMS routing information, and messaging volume, including the number of attachments and message size.

        • The phone numbers you enter for outgoing telephone calls, SMS, or MMS text messages, and, if publicly available, the business names associated with those phone numbers.

        • Note that, as described in the "Content on Screen" subsection below, Meters may collect the content you see on your screen or device at any given time. This may include the content of messages as they appear on your screen and the keystrokes or other inputs you use for messaging. Panelists can use a non-metered device (or temporarily pause metering, as described below) when using messaging services.

      • Digital Media, TV, Game Consoles, and other Shared Devices. Your consumption and use of digital media and entertainment on your devices and shared household devices, including:

        • The videos and TV programming you watch and listen to, including name, source, and other video and audio identifiers, as well as your interactions with any remote control and the timestamp and duration of your viewing events.

        • The music you listen to, including the title, artist, and how long the music was played.

        • The digital games you and other household members play on game consoles or other shared devices.

      • Clicks and Taps. Data associated with your clicks (e.g., with a mouse) taps (e.g., with a stylus or finger), or other interactions with technology and digital content.

      • Audio Data. The TV Meter has a microphone that, when enabled, captures all nearby audio so that Google can determine what programs are being watched based on the audio coming from the TV. We will seek your permission before collecting audio data. You are responsible for informing non-panelists, including visitors, of this metering.

      • Information you Provide. Information you provide or otherwise input when visiting websites, using apps or using a TV user interface. This includes search terms and personal information you provide to a website, TV user interface, or app, including your name, email address, home/work address, telephone number, Social Security number, or credit card number. The collection of information such as Social Security numbers or credit card numbers is not the focus of the Panel. In addition, the meter will not collect any data entered into a protected field (e.g., password field). If you don’t want information you provide to be collected, please use a non-metered device (or pause metering temporarily, as described below) when entering personal information on a website or app.

      • Content on Screen. The content you see on your screen or device at any given time, including, for example, where that content appears on a website or in an app, and your interactions with it. This also includes, for example, the content you are reading or writing in messages as that content appears on your screen. As noted above, Panelists can use a non-metered device (or pause metering temporarily) when reading or entering personal information or using messaging services.

      • Local Storage. Information (including personal information) stored locally on your device using mechanisms such as browser web storage (including HTML 5) and application data caches. Again, remember that local storage may contain personal information you’ve input on your devices and it may be collected by our Meters and sent to Google; however, this type of personal information is not the focus of the Panels. Panelists can use non-metered devices (or pause metering temporarily) when entering personal information on a website or app.

    • Cookies. Cookies, unique numbers, or other identifiers from your browser, applications, or device, including anonymous and pseudonymous identifiers as well as cookies or other identifiers associated with your personal information or Google Account(s). For the avoidance of doubt, anonymous or pseudonymous identifiers do not mean passwords.

    • Device Information. Information collected whenever your device is powered on, including:

      • Device Identification. Data that identifies the devices you’re using, including manufacturer, operating systems, version numbers, hardware models, mobile network information (including phone number), and unique device identifiers from the device’s manufacturer.

      • Location Information. Your location, based on GPS signals sent by your device or by other technologies used to determine location, such as sensor data from your device that may provide information on nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers.

      • Sensors. Information collected by motion, environmental, and position sensors on your device, including accelerometers, gravity sensors, gyroscopes, ambient air temperature and pressure, orientation sensors, magnetometers, and beacons or sensors that transmit or detect bluetooth, low-energy signals or high-frequency, ultrasonic signals.

      • System Status and Data Usage. Information about system status and data usage associated with your device, including:

        • System status, including device event information such as crashes and system activity.

        • Data indicating the mode your device is in (for example, on, off, standby, "Airplane").

        • How frequently your device is in use.

        • Battery status and charger use.

        • Amount of free and used local storage space.

      • Network and Connectivity. Information related to the network connections of your devices, including:

        • Information about the device’s network usage, including connection state, type of cell network being used, timestamp for network status activity, signal strength, and data volume sent/received.

        • DHCP request information, which indicates when a device seeks to connect to a network.

        • Information indicating Wi-Fi connection status and Wi-Fi encryption type for any Wi-Fi connection.

        • Information related to Wi-Fi networks to which your device is connected, including SSIDs, MAC IDs, and other WiFi network IDs. These identifiers can be used to indicate when you’re at home or at other locations.

        • Information about other devices connected to your Wi-Fi network, so that we may attempt to collect Meter Data from those devices in a manner consistent with this Privacy Policy.

        • Information about the other devices you connect with using Bluetooth, including metadata associated with the use of near-field communication (NFC) technology.

        • Information related to devices, beacons or sensors that transmit or detect bluetooth, low-energy signals or high-frequency, ultrasonic signals

  • Diagnostic Data. Data related to the operation and quality of the Meters and accompanying technology, including session times, duration, number of traffic requests, number of websites visited, and information about browser and operating system types ("Diagnostic Data"). Diagnostic Data may be used for Panel operations, maintenance, improvement, quality assurance, and Panelist verification purposes. Diagnostic Data may be collected even when metering is paused , have signed out, or when a non-panelist is using the device.

  • Smart Devices. If you connect smart devices to the Wi-Fi router meter (e.g., smart speakers, smart thermostats, smart fridges, game consoles, video streaming devices, smart televisions), Google will notify you when we’ve detected an eligible device and will collect information about the device, including device information (e.g., manufacturer and model), internet activity (e.g., websites accessed, what streaming services are being used, cookies, and amount of data transferred), and the number of times it is used.  We will not collect any camera or microphone (e.g., anything you say to a device) data. You can turn off data collection for particular smart devices on Google’s panelist website.

Your Use of Google Products. Information that Google collects from you when you use Google products and services, as set forth in the Google Terms of Service and Google Privacy Policy or other applicable terms of service. When metering is enabled, we may collect this information for all Google accounts being used on the device, including accounts you may not have identified to us through surveys or other sign-up processes. Therefore, the information about your use of Google products may include information from the use of any Google accounts on your device.

Survey Data. Google and its Panel Partners also may collect additional information about you as part of your participation in this Panel ("Survey Data"):

  • Your full name, home address, work address, household location, phone numbers, email addresses, unique Panelist ID, and other identifiable information.

  • Information from your Google Account(s), including your full name, Gmail address(es), YouTube username(s), Google+ profile name(s), and any cookies or persistent identifiers associated with your Google Account(s).

  • Information necessary to verify and authenticate your participation in the Panel, including your Google Account information and email addresses associated with your Google Account(s).

  • Demographic information about you and other members of your household, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, languages spoken, education, marital status, personal income, household income, the number of children you have, and the total number of adults and children in your household.

  • Other survey questions that Google or its Panel Partners may ask you to answer, including questions about your habits and preferences.

Minors. Google may collect Panel Data from all household members ages 13 and over. With your consent, Google may collect Panel Data from household members under the age of 13. Otherwise, as set forth in the Terms and Conditions, children under the age of 13 are prohibited from using Meters unless they pause the meter temporarily or they log in to the Meters using the login details allocated to the relevant minor, which renders the Meter into a similar non-metering state. If you do not want Google to collect information from household members under the age of 13, you should ensure that such children do not use metered devices (or pause meters temporarily on those devices).

Pause meters temporarily. Some metering technology may provide Panelists with the ability to temporarily pause metering or otherwise limit the collection of panelist activity from this meter. For example, Panelists may pause metering on the TV meter by turning off the meter’s microphone. As noted above, Google may collect Diagnostic Data from Meters while they are paused. To learn more about pausing meters, including tips and best practices, please consult the information provided to you about your Meters.

Guests and Other Non-Panelists. Only Panelists may use Meters. Panelists must notify guests or other non-panelists of the presence of Meters and instruct them to pause metering before using a metered device, or check in as a visitor for meters like the TV meter that provide this option (see below). Failure to pause metering may result in the collection of Panel Data from non-panelists.

Visitors and Other Non-Panelists. Some metering technology may also provide you with the ability to check-in that you are with visitors or other non-panelists (such as other members of your household) as you consume and use digital media and entertainment. For example, the TV meter may collect data about the videos and TV programming you watch and listen to with non-panelists. Data collected from Meters when "Visitor" is selected is associated with your Panelist ID, and used to analyze the viewing habits of your household. You are responsible for informing non-panelists of this metering.

Third-Party Data. Google also may obtain information from third parties (other than Panel Partners) ("Third-Party Data"). Third-Party Data includes personal information about you, aggregated and/or anonymized data (including cookie data), and other consumer-related information from academic institutions, advertisers, publishers, data brokers, programming networks, and other entities studying consumer behavior and audience measurement.

Additional Information. Google and its Panel Partners may provide you with further information about the operation of the Meters and the information they collect at the time of installation.

How We Use the Information We Collect

Google will use Panel Data and Third-Party Data in connection with your information from existing Google products and services, to provide, maintain, and improve them, and to develop new ones.

Panel Data may be:

  • Combined with a Panelist ID that is unique to you.

  • Combined with data collected by Google when you're using Google products and services, even when you're not acting as a Panelist ("Google Data"). For example, we may combine Panel Data or Third-Party Data with information in your Google Account(s), such as your YouTube watch history and ads views. This may include information from Google Accounts that are not registered to your Panels account but are consistently used on your devices (that are connected to a Meter and not paused), and that we have therefore determined are being used by you ("Consistently Used Accounts"). We will prompt you before associating data from these Consistently Used Accounts with your Panelist ID. We also may combine Panel Data or Third-Party Data with anonymous or pseudonymous identifiers (such as cookies or unique device identifiers) used by Google products and services. For example, Google may combine Panel Data, Third-Party Data, or Google Account data (including personal information) with advertising cookies like the DoubleClick cookie.

  • Combined with information (including personal information) collected from our Panel Partners and other third parties, including academic institutions, advertisers, publishers, data brokers, programming networks, and other entities.

  • Used to add, delete, change, or modify the advertisements or content you see on Google.com or other Google or Google affiliate properties.

Overall, your participation in this Panel changes the way Google will use information it collects from you whenever you're using Google, including the combination of the DoubleClick cookie with personal information.

By combining information collected from you as a Panelist with information collected from you as a typical Google user, some information that was originally anonymous, pseudonymous, or otherwise not personally identifiable to you may become personally identifiable and therefore can be used to identify you. For example, your Internet browsing history obtained from a Meter -- which may be associated with the anonymous DoubleClick cookie -- could be combined with personal information associated with your unique Panel ID or Google Account(s).

Similarly, by combining Panel Data or Third-Party Data with non-personally-identifiable information collected from third parties (e.g., anonymous cookies), such anonymous information may become personally identifiable and used to identify you. (For example, this type of combined data could be used to help measure the effectiveness of digital advertising among consumers.)

Any information collected as Panel Data or Third-Party Data may be associated with other Panel Data, Third-Party Data, Google Data, or data obtained from third parties in any combination. We also may combine information about your actual location (e.g., from a mobile device) with personal information associated with your unique Panel ID or Google Account(s). (For example, this combined data could be used to help measure brand awareness among consumers and how consumers view and interact with ads and other digital content.)

Google processes information (including personal information) on our servers in many countries around the world, including countries that do not have specific data protection laws or that might afford you fewer legal rights with respect to your information. Although Google may process your information on a server located outside the country in which you live, we do so in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

How we Share the Information We Collect

As discussed above, Google may use Panel Partners to help with Panel management and administration. Panel Partners are trusted businesses who we require to take appropriate confidentiality and security measures to protect data and also maintain their own privacy policies. Google may share Panel Data, Third-Party Data, Google Data (including personal information), or any combination of Panel Data, Third-Party Data, and Google Data, with its Panel Partners.

Google also may partner with other trusted businesses ("Trusted Businesses") that are required to follow the same confidentiality, security, and privacy protocols as our Panel Partners. Google may share Panel Data, Third-Party Data, and Google Data (including personal information), or any combination of such data, with these Trusted Businesses as well.

Google will only share your personal information with third parties who are neither Panel Partners nor Trusted Businesses under the following circumstances:

  • With your consent.

  • If Google has a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation, or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to:

    • meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process, or enforceable governmental request;

    • enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations;

    • detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, or technical issues; or to

    • protect against harm to the rights, property, or safety of Google, our users, or the public as required or permitted by law.

Google also may share non-personally identifiable, anonymized and/or aggregated information with third parties other than its Panel Partners and Trusted Businesses, such as academic institutions, advertisers, publishers, data brokers, programming networks, and other entities studying consumer behavior and audience measurement. Google also may publish non-personally identifiable, anonymized and/or aggregated information, either through its own publications or through third-party publishers.

Information Security

Google takes reasonable steps to protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure, or destruction of data that Google stores on its systems. These include internal reviews of Google data collection, storage and processing practices, and security measures, including appropriate encryption and physical security measures to guard against unauthorized access to systems where Google stores personal data.

Google restricts access to personal information to Google employees, contractors, and agents who need to know that information in order to process it on Google's behalf. These individuals are bound by confidentiality obligations and may be subject to discipline, including termination and criminal prosecution, if they fail to meet these obligations.

These security measures apply only to Google's storage of data on its own systems. They do not apply to data on other systems that are not owned or controlled by Google.

Your Requests to Delete Data

When your participation in the Panel ends, Google may continue to store, use, and share the information previously obtained from you in accordance with this Privacy Policy. You may submit a written request for Google to delete the personal information collected by Google and/or a Panel Partner during your participation in the Panel here. Google will make reasonable efforts to comply with such requests within sixty (60) days, but may aggregate, anonymize, or otherwise de-identify any personal information instead of deleting it and may retain certain personal information for accounting, quality assurance, fraud detection and debugging purposes.

When and How this Privacy Policy Applies to You

Once you have accepted the Google Panel Terms & Conditions, and during your participation in the Panel, this Privacy Policy governs how Google will collect, store, use, and share Panel Data and Third-Party Data. You also may be asked to agree to additional privacy-related terms as part of your participation in the Panel.

Before you join the Panel (including during the sign-up process, before you accept the Google Panel Terms & Conditions), this Privacy Policy does not apply. Instead, please refer to the Google Privacy Policy, which governs how Google collects, stores, uses, and shares data of non-panelists.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

Google may update this Privacy Policy from time to time in accordance with the Google Panel Terms & Conditions.

Learn More

Visit our Help Center.

View previous versions of our privacy policy here.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?