Privacy & Security Information
The mission of Google is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Ensuring teachers and students everywhere have access to technology to learn and work together fits naturally with that mission.
That is why we provide educators with powerful solutions that are affordable and easy to use. We know that trust is earned through protecting teacher and student privacy and providing the best security measures. This webpage explains our privacy and security commitments in plain language.
What are G Suite for Education core services?
The G Suite for Education (formerly called Google Apps for Education) core services are the heart of Google’s educational offering to schools. The core services are Gmail (including Inbox by Gmail), Calendar, Classroom, Contacts, Drive, Docs, Forms, Groups, Sheets, Sites, Slides, Talk/Hangouts and Vault. These services are provided under the G Suite agreement.
Schools can use G Suite core services in compliance with COPPA and FERPA. G Suite core services contain no advertising and do not use information in those services for advertising purposes.
More than 50 million students, teachers and administrators in almost every country in the world rely on G Suite to learn and work together. We are committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our users, including students.
Does Google own school or student data?
We provide powerful, easy-to-use management tools and dashboards to help administrators keep track of their organization's services, usage and data. We only keep your personal information as long as you ask us to keep it. If an education department, school or university decides to stop using Google, we make it easy for them to take their data with them.Learn how to take data out of Google Read the contract (section on "intellectual property")
Does Google sell school or student data to third parties?
Are there ads in G Suite?
No. There are no ads in the suite of G Suite core services. Outside of the G Suite Core Services, additional Google services may show ads, as described in the G Suite Privacy Notice. For G Suite users in Primary/Secondary (K-12) schools, Google does not use any user personal information (or any information associated with a Google Account) to target ads.Read our G Suite agreement (Google's contract with schools covering G Suite core services) Read our G Suite Privacy Notice More about Privacy
How does Google keep data secure?
We are fully committed to the security and privacy of your data and protecting you and your school from attempts to compromise it. Our systems are among the industry’s most secure and we vigorously resist any unlawful attempt to access our customers’ data.
Google’s data centers use custom hardware running a custom hardened operating system and file system. Each of these systems has been optimized for security and performance. Because Google controls the entire hardware stack, we are able to quickly respond to any threats or weaknesses that may emerge.
Google encrypts Gmail (including attachments) and Drive data while on the move. This ensures that your messages are safe not only when they move between you and Google's servers, but also as they move between Google's data centers.More about Security
How does Google ensure its tools are reliable?
Our proven infrastructure handles more than 100 billion search queries each month and scales services such as Gmail to hundreds of millions of users with 99.978% availability and no scheduled downtime. We have more than 450 full-time engineers, the world’s foremost experts in security, working to protect your information.More about Reliability
Which third parties have reviewed Google’s security practices?
We connect with independent auditors to review our data protection practices. Ernst & Young, an independent auditor, has verified that our practices and contractual commitments for G Suite comply with ISO/IEC 27018:2014. G Suite and our data centers are also SSAE 16 / ISAE 3402 Type II SOC 2-audited and have achieved ISO 27001 certification.More about Compliance See our security audit certifications Details of SOC3
How do I know that other customers sharing the same servers can’t access my data?
Your data is logically protected as if it were on its own server. Unauthorized parties cannot access your data. Other customers cannot access your data, and you can’t access theirs. In fact, all user accounts are protected by this secure architecture that ensures that one user cannot see another user's data. This is similar to how customer data is segmented in other shared infrastructures, such as online banking applications.
How do you know we’re keeping our word?
We make contractual commitments in our G Suite agreement and commit to comply with privacy and security standards here. And whether it’s real time dashboards to verify system performance, our ongoing auditing of our processes or sharing the location of our datacenters, we’re committed to providing all our users utmost transparency. It’s your data, and we want you to know what happens with it so that you can always make informed choices.More about Transparency
Has Google signed the Student Privacy Pledge?
Yes. In order to to reaffirm the commitments we've made to schools, Google has signed the Student Privacy Pledge. This pledge, introduced by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), is intended to reflect our commitment to safeguard student personal information in our services designed for use in schools.Read the Student Privacy Pledge
Does Google encrypt my data?
Yes. Data is encrypted at several levels. Google forces HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) for all transmissions between users and G Suite services and uses Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) for all its services. Google also encrypts message transmissions with other mail servers using 256-bit Transport Layer Security (TLS) and utilizes 2048 RSA encryption keys for the validation and key exchange phases. This protects message communications when users send and receive emails with external parties also using TLS.
What kind of scanning or indexing of user data is done on G Suite for Education accounts?
G Suite services don't collect or use information in those services for advertising purposes or to create ads profiles.
Gmail for consumers and G Suite users runs on the same infrastructure, which helps us deliver high performance, reliability, and security to all of our users. However, G Suite is a separate offering that provides additional security, administrative and archiving controls for education, work and government customers.
Like many email providers, we do scanning in Gmail to keep our customers secure and to improve their product experience. In Gmail for G Suite, this includes virus and spam protection, spell check, relevant search results and features like Priority Inbox and auto-detection of calendar events. Scanning to provide product features is done on all incoming emails and is 100% automated. We do NOT scan G Suite emails for advertising purposes.Read our G Suite Privacy Notice
Can G Suite for Education be used in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?Learn more about FERPA
Given changes around the U.S.-E.U. Safe Harbor Agreement, what options does G Suite for Education offer for meeting E.U. Data Protection Directive requirements?
Schools can opt into our data processing amendment and model contract clauses. These are an additional means of meeting the adequacy and security requirements of the E.U. Data Protection Directive. Model contract clauses were created specifically by the European Commission to permit the transfer of personal data from Europe.
If you have not already done so, we’d like to remind our G Suite customers to consider opting-in to the data-processing amendment and model contract clauses.See opt-in instructions More about model contract clauses
Can G Suite for Education be used in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA)?
Yes. We contractually require that schools using G Suite get the parental consent required by COPPA. Our services can be used in compliance with COPPA as long as a school has parental consent.Read COPPA Read our help center article “Getting consent for G Suite”
Who uses Chromebooks for Education?
Millions of students use Chromebooks for learning. Privacy and security features helped make Chromebooks the top selling device to US K-12 schools for the past two years. Administrators can manage settings to give students as much or as little access as the school desires.
Although Chromebooks are not a core service, we ensure they comply with the Student Privacy Pledge so that schools can use these in compliance with COPPA and FERPA. Specifically we ensure that no data entered into a Chromebook is used to target advertisements to students. Learn more below.
Are Chromebooks secure for my students?
Yes. Chromebooks are designed with multiple layers of security to keep them safe from viruses and malware without any additional security software. A full 10% of boot time is dedicated to re-verifying that the device has not been tampered with, so every time you power on a Chromebook, your security is checked. And because they can be managed from the web, Chromebooks make it easy for school administrators to configure policies and settings, like enabling safe browsing or blocking malicious sites.More about Chromebook security More about Chromebook privacy Read the Chrome privacy whitepaper
Are Chromebooks compatible with online testing?
Chromebooks are a secure platform for administering student assessments, and when setup properly, these devices meet K-12 education testing standards. With Chromebooks, you can disable students’ access to browse the web during an exam in addition to disabling external storage, screenshots, and the ability to print. Both PARCC (see TestNav) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment consortia have verified that Chromebooks meet hardware and operating system requirements for online student.Configure Chromebooks for testing
How is data used and protected for students on Chromebooks for Education?
Chrome Sync enables Google Account holders to log into any Chromebook or Chrome browser and find all their apps, extensions, bookmarks and frequently visited web pages. For students, this means that they can get to work right away. That's one of the reasons Chromebooks have become so popular in classrooms, especially for schools that can't afford a device for every child. With Chromebooks and Chrome Sync, students can have a personalized experience on any device they share with their classmates.
Personally-identifiable Chrome Sync data in G Suite accounts is only used to power features in Chrome for that person, for example allowing students to access their own browsing data and settings, securely, across devices. In addition, our systems compile data aggregated from millions of users of Chrome Sync and, after completely removing information about individual users, we use this data to holistically improve the services we provide. For example if data shows that millions of people are visiting a webpage that is broken, that site would be moved lower in the search results. This is not connected to any specific person nor is it used to analyze student behaviors. If they choose to, administrators can disable Chrome Sync and users can choose what information to sync. G Suite users’ Chrome Sync data is not used to target ads to individual students.Learn more about Chrome Sync Learn how to manage Chrome devices See how to encrypt your synced data
Schools can control whether students or teachers can use additional Google consumer services with their G Suite accounts. We are committed to ensuring that K-12 student personal information is not used to target ads in these services, and in some cases we show no ads at all.
How can families keep their kids safe online?
Along with this page, which provides detail on the services we offer to schools, you can find guidance for keeping your kids safe online outside of school. We worked with many partners to create the Google Family Safety Center.Visit the Google Family Safety Center