Gmail Privacy Statement

Gmail Privacy Statement


This Privacy Statement describes the ways in which Harvard University gathers and uses personal information about individuals in connection with providing the Gmail application managed by Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT). In this Privacy Statement “Gmail” refers only to the HUIT-managed Gmail application. Some Harvard Schools and Centers have set up other Gmail applications, to which this Privacy Statement does not apply.


This Privacy Statement applies to all users of the HUIT Gmail application with Gmail user accounts, regardless of relationship to Harvard.

Information Gathering

The personal information about users that may be collected by Harvard in connection with providing Gmail includes:

  • HUID, name, email address, phone, and campus address
  • Faculty / student / staff role and status

Personal information collected by Harvard also includes data related to use of the Gmail application, and identifiers or other information about a user’s Harvard affiliation or status.

Harvard also collects log files of the IP addresses and browsers of computers accessing the application and the pages visited.

Access to Content

University access to content that Harvard users create, transmit and store through Gmail is governed by the University Policy on Access to Electronic Information.

The University has no control over forwarding and sharing of such content by email recipients.

Use of Information

The personal information collected by Harvard in connection with providing Gmail is used to create and enable use of a Harvard Gmail email account.

Harvard may review users’ IP addresses and the activities they perform using the Gmail platform to administer Gmail and to provide technical support and help diagnose problems. Harvard may use and retain email or other communications to staff in order to process inquiries, respond to requests, and improve services.

Other uses of personal information by Harvard are described in other parts of this Privacy Statement.

Sharing of Information

Gmail is provided and hosted by the third-party vendor Google. Data related to use of the Gmail application and identifiers or other information about a user’s Harvard affiliation and status are released by Harvard to Google or accessible to Google through the application to enable use of the application by individuals. This includes log files of the IP addresses and browsers of computers accessing the application and the pages visited. Google may also have access to other personal data provided by users in the course of using the application. For more information on Google’s use of data see the Google privacy policy at .

Other third-party vendors provide tools and applications that may be integrated with Gmail. Some are contracted for by Harvard and some may be added by individual users. These vendors may have access to user identifiers and other user personal information to enable use of their services.

The Gmail application may also contain links to other websites.

Harvard may also share personal information with other service providers in connection with data uses described in this Privacy Statement.

Each such third-party provider may have its own privacy policy. Harvard is not responsible for the privacy practices of such third parties or the content of such websites.

Other sharing of personal information by Harvard is described in other parts of this Privacy Statement.

In addition, Harvard may share and disclose personal information if Harvard believes that doing so is necessary or appropriate to: satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request; investigate compliance with or enforce this Privacy Statement or any acceptable use policy for Gmail; detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues; or protect, defend or enforce the operations, property, rights and safety of users, Harvard, Harvard affiliates, or others.

Cookies and Related Technologies

Harvard may use cookies and related technologies (“Cookies”) to gather information when users navigate through Gmail, in order to enhance and personalize the experience, to help provide services available through Gmail, to analyze website usage, and to help improve the websites and our related services. To find out more about cookies, visit

Some third parties may also use Cookies on the Gmail application to collect information about your online activities over time and across different websites you visit.

You can review your Internet browser settings, typically under the sections “Help” or “Internet Options,” to exercise choices you have for certain Cookies or you can opt out of the collection and use of some Cookies through tools like the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page. If you disable or delete certain Cookies in your settings, you may not be able to use features of our websites.

We may use third party analytics such as Google Analytics or similar analytics services. For information on how Google processes and collects information using Google Analytics, please see, and for how to opt out, please see

The opt-outs described above may not work for all browsers or devices.

Information Protection

There are security measures in place to help protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of the personal information under Harvard’s control. No data transmission, processing, sharing or storage by any party can be guaranteed to be completely secure.

Contact Information

Please contact with any questions or concerns about this Privacy Statement or the practices of the Gmail application.

Users Located in the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom

If you are located in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway (the European Economic Area) or the United Kingdom, please see for Harvard’s Additional EEA Privacy Disclosures.

Changes to this Privacy Statement 

This Privacy Statement may be amended from time to time. Any such changes will be posted on this page. This Privacy Statement was last updated on September 14, 2021.