Understanding the basics of privacy on YouTube apps

Keeping you safe online is core to everything we do - it is our commitment to be transparent about the data we use while giving you choice and control over it.

The data you provide to Google and YouTube helps us improve your experience when using our services. You can control your YouTube privacy settings by visiting Your Data in YouTube or your Google Account.

How YouTube may use data linked to your account

YouTube uses your data to improve your experience, like reminding you what you’ve watched, and giving you more relevant recommendations and search results. Your activity and information can also be used to personalize ads within YouTube and other Google Services. You can manage or turn off activity data in Your Data in YouTube.

How YouTube may use aggregated data

In order to constantly improve our services, we use anonymized, aggregated YouTube data to improve the experience for all users. For example, we use diagnostics to understand the health of the YouTube app, fix bugs, and improve speed and performance.

How YouTube helps you control your privacy and security

We’re continuously working to keep you in control of your privacy and security on YouTube — whether that’s helping you manage your settings with proactive tools, or making those settings easier to use in our products. For example, we offer data minimization tools like auto-delete, which give you the choice to have YouTube automatically delete your data after a certain amount of time. You can manage your activity data in Your Data in YouTube.

How YouTube may use your search and watch history, and how you can control it

YouTube uses search and watch history to improve your experience, for example to make it easier to find videos you recently watched or to improve your recommendations. Search and watch history can also be used to show you relevant and useful ads. You can view or delete data from your search and watch history in Your Data in YouTube to make recommendations and ads more relevant to you. If you have no significant prior watch history, YouTube features that rely on your watch history to give video recommendations, like recommendations on the YouTube homepage, are removed.
Visit Your Data in YouTube to manage what activity data is saved in your Google Account. You can also browse or delete your YouTube activity.

How YouTube may use your location data

YouTube may use location information such as your current general area, estimated from your IP address, to show you locally relevant content recommendations and search results. For example, if you’re searching for news or weather on YouTube, your search results may include top news and local weather for your general area. Additionally, if you choose to upload videos, your location information, such as your general area when you upload a video, or the location with which you have tagged the video may also be used to recommend your content to locally relevant audiences.

A general area is larger than 1 sq mi and it has at least 1,000 users. The general area of your search does not identify you. Instead, a general area helps protect your privacy and it’s typically much larger than 1 sq mi outside of cities.

You can view, clear, turn off, or choose to automatically delete your Location History from Your data in YouTube.

You can learn more about how location is used across Google, including to show you more useful ads on YouTube.

Find local content by adding a location to your search

If you’re searching for something specific and are not finding relevant search results, try adding a location to your search, like Weather in Chelsea.

Control what data and activity is used to personalize ads

When you use Google apps, you can control what data and activity can be used to personalize ads or you can turn off ads personalization altogether. We make it easy to control the data used to personalize ads to you in Ad Settings. This data includes what we estimate about your interests based on your activity and interactions with other advertisers that partner with us to show ads, and information you add to your Google Account.

When you sign in to your Google Account, manage how your ads are personalized or turn off personalized ads altogether in your Ad Settings.

To learn more about Google Ads and data, go to our Safety Center.

How YouTube may use your personal information

Your personal information includes information like your name and photo. You can decide what personal information you make visible to others across Google services by managing personal information in your Google Account. Some ads may have forms for you to provide additional information, like email address and phone number, but these are optional and not required for you to continue using YouTube.

YouTube does not sell your personal information

We do not sell your personal information to anyone. We use the information we collect to customize our services for you, including providing recommendations, personalizing search results, and serving relevant ads. While these ads help fund our services and make them available to everyone at no monetary cost, your personal information is not for sale.

How YouTube may use content, such as videos and photos, that you choose to upload

Only content that you decide to upload is stored by YouTube and linked to your YouTube channel. Who gets to view this content is based on video privacy settings that you choose. Based on your video privacy settings, content that you have uploaded can be made visible or recommended to other viewers. Learn more about how to change your video privacy settings here. Learn more about how to manage and edit content using YouTube Studio on a computer or a mobile device here.

What happens to your content and associated data after you delete a video

If you choose to delete a video from YouTube, that video will be permanently deleted. It cannot be recovered later and that video will no longer be searchable within YouTube. Data associated with the video, such as watch time, will still be part of aggregate reports. Learn more about how to manage and edit content using YouTube Studio on a computer or on a mobile device here. Learn more about how to delete and replace videos here.

What happens when you delete your YouTube channel

At any time, you can choose to close or delete your YouTube channel. Closing or deleting your channel will permanently delete your content, including all videos, comments, messages, and playlists. You can then no longer  comment or publish content.

Check out our Privacy Policy for more details on how we use data on YouTube and across Google.

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