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”) for the Respiratory Health (“RH”) Study.  

This Statement is intended to share information about the RH Study’s privacy practices in advance of enrollment.  The specific details about how GHS will collect, store, use, and share Study Data (defined below) will be set forth in each study’s informed consent form (“Study Consent”).  For other limited 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 and certain terms are replicated here for convenience or to share examples of how they might apply to GHS.       

Study 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 Study 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.  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 sends your information to a study with your consent and provides you with transparency, choice, and control 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 the RH Study (“RH Research Data”)

In the RH Study, we collect the following information:

  • Eligibility Data.  We collect eligibility data to determine if you meet the criteria to participate in the RH Study.  The data is used to verify that you reside in the United States, meet the age of majority in your state and are eligible to participate in the RH Study.
  • Research 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 RH Study Consent, but will not be stored. 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 that researcher’s study.
  • Study Data.  GHS will collect information to be used in studies, which we refer to as Study Data.  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. 

In the RH Study, Google uses Federated Analytics & Learning to analyze personally identifiable Study Data on your device.  Federated Analytics & Learning refers to a process in which your identity is obscured by keeping personally identifiable Study Data on your device and only transferring aggregated statistics.  Google and its research partners will not have access to this personally identifiable Study Data.  

Future studies may use other methods to protect your privacy or 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), or by encrypting and limiting access to contact information that is necessary to collect for compliance with regulatory requirements.  We will obtain your explicit consent before collecting your information using these methods.

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 Study 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 without including it. 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. It 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 the information we collect from the App for the following purposes:

RH Research Data 

As described in more detail in the RH Study Consent, Google and its research partners use aggregated RH 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.

Aggregated means that researchers and Google can only see statistics combined from multiple participants and cannot access any personally identifiable information stored on the device.  Google or our research partners may use other publicly available information, such as influenza statistics, to conduct study analyses on aggregated RH Research 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 RH 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

Google and research partners cannot access your personally identifiable RH Research Data, but certain other types of App Data, such as App Feedback, may constitute personally identifiable information (“Personal Information”).  We generally share Personal Information 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.  Other information may not be personally identifiable, but also may be shared outside of Google in accordance with the Study Consent.  For example, once you provide your consent and enroll in the RH Study, your aggregated RH Study Data will be shared with the research partner.      

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

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 the RH Study at any time. If you unenroll or delete the App, no new information will be collected from you and all data on your phone will be deleted.  The aggregated RH Research Data that was collected prior to your unenrollment will be retained, along with the record of your initial consent and unenrollment, 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.  As with the RH Study, the applicable Study Consent provides specific details about how GHS will collect, store, use, and share Study 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.