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said by GMAIL FAQ:
Gmail is a free, search-based webmail service from Google. With its unique search functionality, Gmail makes your mailbox and the rest of the Internet easily accessible. We designed this innovative service with both its usefulness and your privacy in mind. This policy describes the types of personal information we may collect and how we use it to provide Gmail.
By using Gmail, you agree to the collection and use of your personal information as described in this policy. If we make any significant changes to this policy, we will notify you by posting a notice of such changes on the Gmail login page.
You should know:
* We collect limited account information and store and maintain your account and email messages on our secure servers.
* We will never rent, sell or share information that personally identifies you for marketing purposes without your express permission.
* We serve highly relevant ads and other information as part of the service using our unique content-targeting technology. No human reads your email to target ads or related information to you without your consent.
* You can update your account information and preferences at any time.
To comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, at this time Gmail is only available to users who are at least 13 years old. If you are under 13, please do not use the Gmail service.
What types of personal information do we collect and how do we use it?
Account information. When you register with Google, we will request some personal information, including your first and last name, a user name (which will be used for your email address) and password to create your account. Your password will be maintained on our system in an encrypted form. Just in case you forget your password, we also may ask you to choose a secret question and answer and provide a secondary email address where we can contact you to re-access your Google account. If you already have a Google account, we may ask you for some additional information to enable an email account.
Email contents and usage. The contents of your Gmail account also are stored and maintained on Google servers in order to provide the service. Google's computers process the information in your email for various purposes, including formatting and displaying the information to you, delivering targeted related information (such as advertisements and related links), preventing unsolicited bulk email (spam), backing up your email, and other purposes relating to offering you Gmail. Because we keep back-up copies of data for the purposes of recovery from errors or system failure, residual copies of email may remain on our systems for some time, even after you have deleted messages from your mailbox or after the termination of your account. Google employees do not access the content of any mailboxes unless you specifically request them to do so (for example, if you are having technical difficulties accessing your account) or if required by law, to maintain our system, or to protect Google or the public.
We also may collect information about the use of your account, such as how much storage you are using, how often you log in and other information related to your registration and use of Gmail. Information displayed or clicked on in your Gmail account (including UI elements, ads, links, and other information) is also recorded. We use this information internally to deliver the best possible service to you, such as improving the Gmail user interface, preventing fraud within our advertising system, and better targeting related information.
Google will never sell, rent or share your personal information, including your Gmail address or email content, with any third parties for marketing purposes without your express permission.
Cookies & log information.
Cookies. A cookie is a small data file that is sent to your computer when you first visit a website. As with most website cookies, our cookies include an identification number that is unique to the computer you are using. This identifier helps us better understand our user base and how they are using our site and services.
Log information. When you use your Gmail account, we collect certain information (the same information that most web sites log when they are accessed). This information, contained in the "header" of your request to access the Gmail page, usually includes the browser type you used, your Internet Protocol address, and the date and time of day. In addition, we log the unique ID provided by our cookie and the URL of the last site you visited.
As a basic matter, we need this information to help us provide our services to you. For example, we need to validate your identity in order to maintain the security of your mailbox. We also need to know what Internet Protocol address your query came from so we can send the appropriate pages back to you.
In addition, we log this information for internal business purposes. For example, this log information helps us determine how well our services are working so we can continually improve the quality of Gmail. The log information is also important for security, audit, quality improvement, and other internal business purposes.
How we deliver targeted content to you.
We never share your personally identifying information with any advertiser as part of this service, unless you specifically ask us to do so. When you are logged into your Gmail account, Google will display targeted ads and other relevant information based on the content of the email displayed. In a completely automated process, computers process the text in a message and match it to ads or related information in Google's extensive database. No human reads your mail to target ads or other information without your consent.
Advertisers receive a record of the total number of impressions and clicks for each ad. They do not receive any personal information about the person who viewed the ad. If you click on an ad, Google will send a referring URL to the advertiser's site identifying that you are visiting from Gmail. Google does not send personally identifying information to advertisers with the referring URL. Once you are on the advertiser's site, however, the advertiser may collect personal information about you. Google does not control or take responsibility for the privacy policies of other sites.
Google may send you information related to your Gmail account or other Google services. Because we believe such information is important, you will not be given the opportunity to opt-out of receiving them.
When we may disclose your personal information.
Transfer of information.
Personal information collected by Google may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Google Inc. or its agents maintain facilities. By using Gmail, you consent to any such transfer of information outside of your country.
Updating your information.
You can change your Gmail account settings at any time in the "Settings" section of your mailbox.
You can terminate your account at any time, by going to the account information page. We typically deactivate accounts within two business days of such requests. You should be aware, however, that residual copies of information may remain stored on our systems even after the deletion of information or the termination of your account.
How does Google safeguard your information?
We pay close attention to security. First, we focus significant time and resources to ensure that user accounts and information are not misused by Google employees. A limited set of employees are authorized to access user accounts, they are educated about the importance of maintaining user privacy, and their access to user accounts is recorded. Our employees are also contractually required to access accounts and log data only for quality, security, audit, and other internal business purposes. Second, we implement technology and procedures to try to make sure that external parties cannot access or modify users personal information on our servers. These technologies and procedures include industry standard methods as well as our own proprietary methods.
We hope you will enjoy using Gmail.
Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
- I sent an email to a friend asking about their student loan and the next day got a text message from a website offering student loan consolidation. no websites were contacted. COINCIDENCE? It seems likely they were able to read my message.
- I've received notices that Gmail needs to verify my account information including my password. This sounds bogus to me > could ANYONE confirm or deny this please? My account is RickBrownDC@Gmail.com >>> and this is very disturbing to me as I have a lot of important information in my archives that I don't want to lose. Thank you ! Rick Brown