Google Surveys policies

Updated 10 February 2022

The policies listed below apply to researchers and developers using Google Surveys and Google Surveys 360 (collectively “Google Surveys”) to create surveys. Violations of these policies may result in your Google Surveys account, and any related accounts, being permanently suspended. Be sure to check back from time to time as these policies may change. All surveys created or served using Google Surveys must comply with the program policies below.

Content policies

Surveys must not be used in connection with content that is illegal, promotes dangerous and/or illegal activities, or infringes on the legal rights of others, including patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, and other intellectual property rights. We reserve the right to disallow, at our sole discretion, any survey that we determine to contain content that is disturbing, distasteful, offensive, mature, misrepresentative (i.e., content that misrepresents, misstates, misleads others, or otherwise conceals information about the survey’s primary purpose), hateful or intolerant speech, or vulgar language.

Personally identifiable information & location information

Surveys must not request information that Google could use or recognize as personally identifiable information from end users, such as names, phone numbers and email addresses, social media accounts, employer, account credentials, government identification numbers, cardholder data and financial account data. Surveys also must not request any physical address information, including City, State, and ZIP codes.

Examples
Acceptable Not Acceptable
  • Surveys asking about industry of employment
  • Surveys asking for your name
  • Surveys asking for your place of residence
  • Surveys asking for phone numbers or email addresses
  • Surveys asking for your employer's name
  • Surveys asking for your social media account names
  • Surveys asking for your account credentials, government identification numbers, cardholder data, financial account data
  • Surveys asking about location of home or work

Demographics

Please note that age, gender, and geography are provided in the survey results as inferred or declared demographics, so you don't need to ask these questions in your survey.

Surveys may ask for age & gender provided the answer choices are in groups or ranges with a "I prefer not to say" or using "Other" as the opt out answer; the open-text question type is not permitted for such survey questions. Questions also must not target, whether by direct or indirect means, end users under 18 years of age, or include any age under 18 years old in answer ranges. The Google Surveys team reserves the right to apply a disclaimer/permission screen when we deem necessary. Should the Google Surveys team apply a disclaimer/permission screen, we will notify the survey creator.

Examples
Acceptable Not Acceptable

Survey questions asking about demographics that allow respondents to choose from a group or range of answers with an opt-out. For example:

  • How old are you? Using defined age bands
  • What is your gender?

Survey questions asking about the following

  • Date of birth
  • Age (years)

Sensitive demographics

Surveys must not ask directly for race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and immigration status.

Sensitive subjects

Surveys must not ask questions on sensitive subjects. We do not allow surveys that request information relating to sensitive subjects, such sensitive demographics listed above, abortion or personal criminal records. This is not an exhaustive list and we reserve the right and sole discretion to determine which surveys relating to sensitive demographics and sensitive subjects are not permitted.

Adult material

Surveys must not request or contain adult content or content that could be considered to be adult in nature, including adult themes, adult activity, nudity, sexually suggestive material, and drug use.

Examples
Acceptable Not Acceptable
Surveys about awareness of online dating sites
  • Surveys asking about any use of addictive drugs, regardless of legality (e.g., marijuana)
  • Surveys about sexual satisfaction/dissatisfaction
  • Surveys about having sexual contact
  • Surveys with adult content including questions about preference on consuming or accessing this material
  • Surveys asking about contraceptives

Offensive and inappropriate content and language

Surveys must not request or contain:

  • Hate speech (including content that incites hatred or promotes violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity), harassment, bullying, or similar content that advocates harm against an individual or group;
  • Content or language that is obscene, gruesome, distasteful, or offensive to end users, including content related to judging or rating physical appearance of people; or
  • Content or language that is otherwise inappropriate, including variations and misspellings of inappropriate words and language.
Examples
Acceptable Not Acceptable
  • Surveys about a movie or book title (e.g. “Meet the Fockers”)
  • Surveys about hating an idea, concept, shirt design, car (e.g. having answer options/rating scales such as “I hate it” - “I love it”)
  • Surveys with logo of a brand with inappropriate language

  • Surveys with answer options using inappropriate language or slang (e.g., “hell no!” or “f*ck yeah”)

  • Surveys about promoting hate towards a particular entity, a group of people, or person (e.g., “a company that I wish to go bankrupt” or “I want him to die”)

  • Surveys about death that’s directly related to the respondent (e.g., Do you prefer to be cremated when you die?)

  • Surveys about bodily fluids (e.g., urine leaking)

Push-polling or promotion

Surveys must not contain “push-polling” content, including any questions designed to influence or alter the view of end users, whether negatively or positively. Surveys must not be used as an advertisement or to promote the use of any goods or services. Surveys must not contain call-to-action phrases such as “Vote NO” or "click here" or "visit our website". Text pointing end users to a URL is also not permitted.

Examples
Acceptable Not Acceptable
  • Surveys asking for an opinion of a brand or product that include a neutral answer
  • Surveys asking about brand/product awareness
  • Surveys asking about purchase history/intention of a certain brand/product
  • Surveys asking respondents’ preference or opinion on certain product creative or ads
  • Surveys asking for an opinion of a brand or product that doesn’t include a neutral answer

Policy and election polling

Surveys must not ask about political beliefs or political affiliations. 

This includes surveys on all political topics, including surveys for political campaigns or candidates, surveys addressing controversial social issues, surveys referencing well-known politicians, and surveys touching on events widely perceived to be political in nature, such as elections, protests, and conflicts. 

Election-polling questions aren't permitted, including questions about:

  1. Voting preference or action in past, future, or hypothetical elections, or
  2. Opinions about the outcome of those elections.

Surveys about controversial political topics are also prohibited, including but not limited to those relating to abortion, drug legalization, legalized prostitution, death penalty, euthanasia, gun rights, racial profiling, torture, war, and weaponry. Google reserves the right to determine at its sole discretion whether surveys relating to these topics are controversial and thus, prohibited under this policy.

Health

Surveys may not ask about the respondent’s personal health or health related conditions. This includes any medical history, drug or alcohol use, over the counter medicine usage, or medical procedures undertaken or planned.

Examples
Acceptable Not Acceptable
Questions about awareness, or preference (but not usage history, purchase history, or intent) of general population OTC vitamins or medicines
  • Surveys asking for medical history or current medical condition
  • Surveys asking about going through an invasive medical procedure
  • Surveys asking about having a sexually transmitted infection
  • Surveys about having abortion, which is a sensitive topic
  • Usage history or intent to use specific medications

Interest-based surveys (including remarketing)

You must not use Google Surveys to select or target interest-based surveys, or to collect or use audience data such as cookie lists, based on:

  • Past or current activity by end users known by you to be under the age of 18 years;
  • Past or current activity by end users on sites or apps or areas of sites or apps directed at children under the age of 18 years;
  • Past or current activity by end users on adult, gambling, or government-agency sites or apps; or

Other inferred or actual sensitive information, including, without limitation:

  • Health or medical history or information, such as from sites or apps that market to a specific health-related group,
  • Negative financial status or other detailed information pertaining to a person's finances, such as information indicating that an end user has a low credit rating or high debt load,
  • Racial or ethnic origins, such as from sites or apps that collect affirmative racial or ethnic identification from visitors,
  • Religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature, such as from sites or apps that collect people’s affirmative information on religion or religious beliefs,
  • The commission or alleged commission of any crime, such as information indicating that an end user has a criminal record,
  • Political affiliation (to the extent permitted by applicable law, political affiliation may be used to target ads to end users or to promote advertisers’ products or services in the United States),
  • Trade union membership, such as an end user’s visit to a trade union’s site or app, or
  • Sexual behavior or orientation, such as sexual orientation inferred from an end user’s visit to a particular site.

You must have all rights necessary to collect and use audience data such as cookie lists.

Editorial Policies

Surveys must comply with the Surveys editorial policies. Please also refer to the Surveys tips guide for guidance on best practices.

Enforcement

If you see a survey or question that you believe violates any of the above policies, please contact the Google Surveys team.

Changelog

10 February 2022

  • Updated to clarify demographics questions
  • Minor update to location information surveys.
  • Suspension of sensitive demographics topics, updates to medical & health topics, and suspension of political beliefs & affiliations.

10 April 2020

  • Updated to clarify our policy on policy and election polling, including updated examples. 
  • Added note about the suspension of medical or health topics.
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