Privacy Statement

This Privacy Statement (“Statement”) provides an overview about how Google LLC (referred to as “Google,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) will process data obtained from Google Health Studies (“GHS” or the “App”).  

This Statement is intended to share information about GHS’s privacy practices in advance of Study (defined below) enrollment.  The specific details about how GHS will collect, store, use, and share Research Data (defined below) will be set forth in each study’s informed consent form (“Study Consent”).  For other types of data, except where otherwise noted in this Privacy Statement or the Study Consent, the Google Privacy Policy will apply. That policy applies to products and services offered by Google LLC and its affiliates and certain terms are replicated here for convenience or to share examples of how they might apply to GHS.       

Research Data (defined below) is a specific category of data and will only be used for the purposes that are explicitly consented to in the Study Consent.  Google does not sell your Research Data, and does not use it to show you ads.

Background

Google Health Studies enables you to participate in research studies with Google and its research partners (“Study” or “Studies”). Our partners include clinicians and health researchers based at hospitals, universities, and other research institutions, who are responsible for designing and overseeing Studies based on their expertise in the Study’s subject matter.  GHS allows you to enroll in Studies using your Android device and to share information, such as your background, health status, and information from your Android device.  GHS only shares your information with a Study with your consent and provides you with transparency and choice over the information that is contributed.  The information that you share allows researchers to learn more about various health conditions, as well as enable Google to develop technologies designed to improve healthcare.

Information Shared with Google

The information that Google collects, and how that information is used, depends on how you use the App and the Studies in which you participate.  

Information that Google Collects for Studies (“Research Data”)

Eligibility Data: We collect eligibility data to determine if you meet the criteria to participate in a Study.  The data is used to verify your country of residence, that you meet the age requirements, and are eligible to participate in the Study.

Study Consent: We also record your consent to participate in Studies. Records of consent may include the Study Consent, the time of consent, and your assigned participant ID.  Your email address may be used to access the Study Consent. Records of consent will be stored on Google’s servers and will be shared with the research partner to record that you have fully consented to a particular Study.

Study Data: GHS will collect information to be used in Studies, which we generally refer to as Study Data in this Privacy Statement and define further in each Study.  Study Data includes Third-Party (3P) Data (defined below) when such Third-Party (3P) Data is contributed to a Study. GHS will collect Study Data only with your explicit consent. You may provide some Study Data, such as demographic and household information, medical history, and self-reported symptoms.  We may also collect Study Data from your device, such as mobility data, data from your phone’s sensors, or location data, which also requires you to grant explicit permission during each Study’s enrollment process.

Third-Party (3P) Data: Certain Studies may link to or integrate with third-party devices and services (“3P Tools”), including Fitbit Services (defined as Fitbit devices, including associated firmware, applications, software, websites, APIs, products, and services).  The use of 3P Tools  will be with your consent and the categories of data Google receives from 3P Tools will be identified in the informed consent. Please note: third-party manufacturers may maintain the original data (or duplicates of the data) that Google receives from their devices and services.  Unless stated otherwise, third-party manufacturers can use such data in accordance with their own terms and policies.    

 Google does not sell Research Data and does not use it to show you ads. 

Studies use various methods to protect your privacy and to limit access to identifiable information. These methods may include generating a unique participant ID to replace your name and other identifying information before it is accessed by Google or researchers (commonly known as coded data), aggregating Research Data across multiple Study participants before it is transferred to researchers, processing sensitive data on the participant’s device, and/or encrypting and limiting access to contact information necessary to collect for compliance with regulatory requirements.  We will obtain your informed consent before collecting your information using these methods or to collect personally identifiable Study Data.

Other Types of App Information Received by Google  (“App Data”)

App Download Info: The email address that you used to download the App will be accessible by Google, but not connected to Research Data. 

App Feedback: You may voluntarily submit feedback to help Google improve the App and make it easier to use.  You may choose to include your email address and other information with your feedback, or submit feedback without including your email address. Your email, if included, may be used by the Support team to obtain more information about your feedback and to ask you additional questions. 

App Functionality: We collect data to improve the GHS experience and to ensure that the App is working as intended. App Functionality includes crash reports, errors experienced in the App, time spent using the App, how many notifications were sent, and other metrics. 

Android Platform Data

Additional information on data collected if you’re using an Android device with Google apps, including GHS, can be found in the Google Privacy Policy.

Why Google Collects Data

We use Research Data for the following purposes:

Research Data 

As described in more detail in each Study Consent, Google and its research partners may use Research Data for:

  • Research purposes;
  • Study analyses, including to learn more about certain conditions;
  • The development of products, processes, and services to help improve healthcare;
  • Academic publications or presentations; and
  • Other purposes with your consent.

Google or our research partners may use other publicly available information, such as weather data or public health statistics, to conduct Study analyses on aggregated Data.  Data that is aggregated and does not personally identify you cannot be deleted as it is not tied to your Google Account. 

App Data  

Provide, Maintain, and Improve the App. We use your information to deliver the App and to grant access to the research Studies, like determining if you meet the criteria to participate in the Study.  We also use your information to ensure the App is working as intended, such as tracking outages or troubleshooting issues that you report to us. And we use your App Data to make improvements to the App.

Measure Performance. We use App Data for analytics and measurement to understand how the App is used.  For example, we analyze data about your use of the App to optimize product design. The App uses de-identified data, ensuring that information about user activity within the app is not linked to other sites or applications.  

Protect Google, our Users, and the Public. We use App Data to help improve the safety and reliability of our App. This includes detecting, preventing, and responding to fraud, abuse, security risks, and technical issues that could harm Google, our users, or the public.

Communicate with You. We may use the App Data you provide, such as your email address, to interact with you directly. For example, we may reach out to you if you provide your email address when you submit feedback on the App. 

Sharing Your Information

To the extent App Data, such as App Feedback, or Research Data constitutes personally identifiable information (“Personal Information”), it generally may be shared with companies, organizations, or individuals outside of Google in the following circumstances.  

With Your Consent.  We’ll share Personal Information outside of Google when we have your consent, including through the Study Consent.  

For External Processing.  We provide Personal Information to trusted businesses or persons with whom we have contracted to process it for us, based on our instructions and in compliance with Google policies and any other appropriate confidentiality and security measures. For example, we use service providers to help us with customer support.

For Legal Reasons.  We will share Personal Information outside of Google if we have 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 Google Terms, including investigation of potential violations
  • Detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, or technical issues
  • Protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, our users, or the public as required or permitted by law

Non-personally identifiable information may also be shared externally. 

If Google is involved in a merger, acquisition, or sale of assets, we’ll continue to ensure the confidentiality of your Personal Information and give affected users notice before Personal Information is transferred or becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

Keeping Your Information Secure

In addition to the protections outlined in the Study Consent, Google takes reasonable steps to protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure, or destruction of data that Google stores on its systems and restricts access to Personal Information, including any collected via GHS, to Google employees, vendors, contractors, and agents who need that information in order to process it on Google’s behalf.  

Your Requests to Withdraw 

You are free to unenroll from a Study at any time. If you unenroll, no new Study Data will be collected and Research Data related to the Study will be deleted from your phone.  If you are participating in multiple Studies, you will need to separately unenroll from each Study in which you are participating to stop data collection for that Study.  Research Data that was collected prior to your unenrollment will be retained by Google or our research partner, along with the record of your consent(s) and unenrollment, and used in accordance with your Study Consent.    

Deleting the App or Research Data 

If you delete the App, no new information will be collected from you for the Study and all data on your phone related to the Study will be deleted from your phone.  Research Data that was collected prior to deletion and the record of your consent(s) will be retained by Google or our research partner, and used in accordance with your Study Consent.

Changes to this Privacy Statement

Google may update this Privacy Statement to reflect data collection practices from time to time and for future Studies.  In any GHS Study, the applicable Study Consent provides specific details about how GHS will collect, store, use, and share Research Data for that particular Study.  If changes to the Privacy Statement are significant, we’ll provide a prominent notice (such as an in-app notification).  

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, please contact us.

 

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