November 8, 2011 | View archived version
we treat personal information when you use Google's products and services, including Google
Books. This additional policy for Google Books does three things: (1) it highlights key
it describes privacy practices specific to the Google Books service, and (3) it describes
planned privacy practices for services proposed in the Google Books legal settlement, which is currently awaiting
All of the provisions of the Google Privacy
Policy apply to the Google Books service. Among other things, this means:
- We do not share your personal information with third parties, except in the narrow
legal process. For purchased books, we provide publishers with sales information, but do not
provide personal information. For purchased books where we acted as the publisher's agent, we
provide the publisher with information on the taxes we collect including the state, city and
zip code from the purchaser's billing address. Google Books offers books for sale not only
from books.google.com, but also through resellers as
well (for example, for purchase off a reseller's website or reading device). Also, our
application developer partners use Google services to integrate with Google Books and provide
you access to Google Books on their services. When you purchase a book through a reseller or
use services of an application developer, you will need to log in with your Google Account
information or create a Google Account if you don't have one. Once you have logged in, if you
choose to synchronize your Google Books account with your account with the reseller or
application developer, we will share your Google Books information (e.g., all of your library
shelves, titles, annotations, last five pages read for each book), except information
regarding the seller(s) from whom you purchased your books, with the reseller or application
developer. The application developer's or reseller's treatment of that information (and any
other information you submit to the reseller or application developer directly) will be
or use services of an application developer.
- When you use Google Books, we receive log information similar to what we receive
in Web Search. This may include information such as the query term or page request (which may
include book titles or specific pages within a book you are browsing), Internet Protocol
address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or more
cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your account.
- Unless you are logged into your Google Account, your activity on Google Books will not be
associated with your Google Account.
- You may choose to use optional features within Google Books (such as My Library or
purchased books) or other optional Google services (such as our Web History
service) that require a Google Account and which may receive and store information from
Google Books in association with your Account. Books features that store information with
your Account will show you the information you have stored and allow you to delete it (unless
we are required to keep it by law or for legitimate and limited business purposes such as
fraud investigations). However, you will not be able to delete the record of your purchase
transaction (including the title of the book) from your Checkout account history.
- Google uses the information it stores for the purposes discussed in the Google Privacy
Policy, including to improve our services (for example, to help customize recommendations for
Google products or services you may be interested in), for security, and to report on
aggregate user trends.
- Usage data from the Books product is subject to the same security standards that are
Practices specific to the current Google Books product
The privacy practices that are specific to Google Books are:
- To fulfill contractual commitments to rightsholders who license us books, we enforce
certain security limits (for example, to prevent abusive sharing of purchased books and to
enforce page view limits on some book previews), and we also enforce limits on the numbers of
browsers or devices that can access an account during a given period of time. In order to
enforce limits on numbers of devices, we will store the unique ID numbers of your devices on
our servers. You can delete a device ID number when you wish to stop using that device.
- You will need to have a Google Account in order to purchase books because account
information is necessary to provide access to users who bought the book. We limit the
information (such as books titles) we provide to credit card companies, and enable you to
delete purchased books from your Google Account. However, you will not be able to delete the
record of your purchase transaction (including the title of the book) from your Checkout
- In order to enable consistent reading position across devices and provide useful
navigation within a book, we store the last five pages (only) in each book a user has viewed
with the user's account. We also store pages viewed for security monitoring and/or if the
user elects to use the Web History service.
- Special legal privacy protections for users may apply in cases where law enforcement or
civil litigants ask Google for information about what books an individual user has looked at.
Some jurisdictions have special "books laws" saying that this information is not available
unless the person asking for it meets a special, high standard such as proving to a court
that there is a compelling need for the information, and that this need outweighs the
reader's interest in reading anonymously under the United States First Amendment or other
applicable laws. Where these "books laws" exist and apply to Google Books, we will raise
them. We will also continue our strong history of fighting for high standards to protect
users, regardless of whether a particular "books law" applies. In addition, we are committed
to notifying the affected user if we receive such a request that may lead to disclosure of
their information; if we are permitted to do so by law and if we have an effective way to
contact the user, we will seek to do so in time for the user to challenge the request.
Practices specific to services proposed under the pending settlement agreement
Google has reached a settlement agreement
in copyright litigation which, if approved, will authorize additional services for users in
the United States as part of the Google Books product. Those additional services have
not yet been designed but we know that they will honor our existing privacy commitments
- The Book Rights Registry created under the settlement will receive aggregate,
non-personally identifiable information about usage of Google Books. Like any other third
party, the Registry will not have access to individual user information unless it goes
through proper legal processes or in other narrow circumstances set out in the Privacy
Policy. Google will not require users to create Google accounts, or in any way register their
identity with Google, in order to use the following planned services:
- Free online viewing of pages from books covered under the settlement
- Use of the Institutional
Subscription. Schools or other institutions that sign up for subscriptions will be
able to authenticate users based on the user's or the institution's IP address, or using
other technologies that allow Google to confirm that a user is part of a subscribing
institution without knowing who that user is.
- Use of Public Access Service terminals in public libraries. Users will not need to
register with Google to use these terminals. Google will receive IP address and cookie
information that may identify internet connection or browser, but not the actual user.
- Users will need to have Google Accounts in order to purchase books because such
information is necessary to provide access to the user who bought the book. However, we plan
to build protections to limit the information (such as book titles) available to credit card
companies about book purchases, and to enable you to delete or disassociate the titles of
books purchased from your Google Account.
comparable to policies you can see in our Privacy Center today for other Google products. That
Google receives and stores when you use the product including any unique identifiers such as
your account information, what we may do with that information, what security standards
protect it against unauthorized access, and what choices you have about data provided to
Google when you use the product as well as information about our data retention practices.
For additional information about Google Books and privacy, please see our FAQ.