This retention policy describes why Google holds onto different types of data for different periods of time.
Some data can be deleted whenever you like, some data is deleted automatically and some data Google retains for longer periods of time, when necessary.
When you delete data, Google follows a deletion policy to make sure your data is safely and completely removed from Google’s servers or retained only in an anonymous form.
Information retained until you remove it
Google offers a range of services that allow you to correct or delete data stored in your Google Account. For example, you can:
- Edit your personal info
- Delete items from My Activity
- Delete content like photos and documents
- Remove apps from your Google Account
- Delete your Google Account entirely
Google keeps this data in your Google Account until you choose to remove it. And if you use Google services without signing in to a Google Account, Google also offers you the ability to delete some information linked to what you use to access Google’s services, such as a device, browser or app.
Data that terminates after a particular time frame
In some cases, rather than provide a way to delete data, Google stores it for a predetermined period of time. For each type of data, Google set retention time frames based on the reason for its collection.
For example, to ensure that Google services display properly on many different types of devices, Google will retain browser width and height for up to nine months. Google also takes steps to make certain data anonymous within set time periods.
For example, Google makes advertising data in server logs anonymous by removing part of the IP address after nine months, and cookie information after 18 months.
Data retain until your Google Account is erased
Google keeps some data for the life of your Google Account if it’s useful for help. Google understands how users interact with our features and how Google can improve their services.
For example, after you delete a specific Google search from My Activity, Google might keep information about how often you search for things, but not what you searched for. At the point when you delete your Google Account, the data about how frequently you scan for things is furthermore removed.
Information kept for longer time periods for specific purposes
Sometimes, business and legal requirements oblige Google to retain certain information, for specific purposes, for an extended period of time.
For example, when Google processes a payment for you, or when you make a payment to Google, Google retains this data for longer periods of time as required for tax or accounting purposes. Reasons Google might retain some data for longer periods of time include:
- Security, fraud & abuse prevention
- Financial record-keeping
- Complying with legal or regulatory requirements
- Ensuring the continuity of our services
- Direct communications with Google
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Enabling safe and complete deletion
When you delete data in your Google account, Google immediately starts the process of removing it from the product and systems.
First, Google aims to immediately remove it from view and the data may no longer be used to personalize your Google experience.
For example, if you delete a video’s history and delete watched video data from your My Activity dashboard, YouTube will suddenly stop showing your watch records for that video.
Google began a process designed to safely and completely delete the data from Google storage systems. Safe deletion is important to protect Google’s users and customers from accidental data loss. Complete deletion of data from Google’s servers is equally important for users’ peace of mind. This procedure for the most part takes around two months from the time of deletion.
This frequently incorporates as long as a month-long recovery period on the off chance that the information was suspended accidentally.
Each Google storage system from which you get deleted data has its own detailed process for safe and complete deletion.
This include repeated goes through the framework to affirm the sum total of what information erased, or quick pauses to take into attention recovery from botches.
Subsequently, deletion could in some cases take longer when additional time is expect to securely and totally erase the information.
Google’s services also use encrypted backup storage as another layer of protection to help recover from potential disasters. Information can stay on these systems for as long as a half year.
As with any deletion process, things such as routine maintenance, unexpected outages, bugs, or failures in our protocols may cause delays in the processes and time frames defined in this article. Google maintains a systems design to detect and remediate such issues.
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