Google updates its Terms of Service to include Chrome and Chrome OS

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 21, 2020
Google, Google Chrome

If you visit a Google website right now you will likely see a notification at the top stating that the company has changed its Terms of Service and that the new terms will take effect on March 31, 2020.

The message, "We're updating our Terms of Service. Get to known our new Terms before they take effect on March 31, 2020", has "review" and "got it" buttons attached to it.

google terms of service change march 31 2020

One of the most important changes in the new Terms of Service is that the updated terms apply to Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS, and Google Drive as well.

You can check out the summary of major changes here to get an overview of important changes. Google published a special page for Google Chrome and Chrome OS that summarizes the changes for these two separately.

We added Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS, and Google Drive to the list of services that the Terms apply to. With this change, these services are governed by the Terms of Service and also a smaller set of service-specific additional terms.

Google notes that it has not "made any changes to the way" it treats customer data and that the updated terms do not "change the service" that the company provides.

The updated terms will not change the service we provide to you. This change makes it easier to understand the general terms that apply to most Google services — which now include Chrome and Chrome OS — alongside the service-specific additional terms and policies that apply to particular Google products. Our privacy policies aren’t changing. The Google Privacy Policy still applies to personal information you provide to Google when you use Chrome and ChromeOS [...]

Essentially, what Google will do from March 31, 2020 onward is that it will treat Google Chrome and Chrome OS equal to other company services. One of the most important takeaways from that is that the Terms will apply to Chrome users who don't use a Google Account now. Previously, the Terms would apply to Google Account owners.

What is particularly problematic about that is that non-Google account users get no options to control the data that collects and  don't get access to some other privacy related settings because they are only available to customers with a Google Account.

Google Chrome and Chrome OS users who don't want to accept the updated Terms of Service have only one option according to Google: to stop using the services.

Now You:What is your take on these changes?

Google updates its Terms of Service to include Chrome and Chrome OS
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Google updates its Terms of Service to include Chrome and Chrome OS
If you visit a Google website right now you will likely see a notification at the top stating that the company has changed its Terms of Service and that the new terms will take effect on March 31, 2020.
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  1. Kryptk said on May 1, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks Google, got a little rough there but water under the bridge✌️

  2. tom gladden said on March 29, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    google trying to offer only political topics on the liberal side
    example go to a “abortion is murder see what comes up google tries to force americans to their point of view
    trump 2020 a lot more of us than you think google

  3. Anonymous said on March 28, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    If you arent an assassin ,who cares.

  4. 765doc said on March 27, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    All hail Google as I shall continue whether to be signed in or out, i shall only search controversies regarding your terms of service like these paranoid weirdos above. Please allow them to search the best way to download Tor for their dark web needs. It helps them search for their ashamed lust for young women of all cultures and downloading free copies of the anarchist cookbook. It helps them cope with their insanity. Whether you hate them or love them, in the outcome,Google just made money off of you yet again. Truly evil for sure, but they are all playing you for a fool. Even I unfortunately. Never forget what internet freedom was about in 1998 – 2012.:(

  5. rodney said on March 26, 2020 at 4:01 am

    I personally can’t wait for the day that google goes up in smoke. I hate it with a passion.

  6. OMS said on March 12, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    I swapped to Brave browser a long time ago for exactly these reasons. I still get the minimalist Chromium feel, without all the tracking and ads, plus… it’s faster. Google has officially turned the corner and is now worried about keeping market share rather than gaining it. This is an evolution every company goes through and it’s only going to get worse for them.

  7. Ed_Hunter said on March 2, 2020 at 1:25 am

    Effective today I have removed Google and all its services from 3 out of my 4 systems at home, at work I can do just fine with Edge…
    No need to be subjected to the strong arm tactics from this government operated company

  8. Orcadian said on February 25, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    I see “Review” and “Accept”, and I must have clicked on Accept around 20 times today – but it reappears every time I browse to google. It is getting bloody irritating, TBH. Is there any way of banishing it?

  9. HT said on February 25, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you for covering this Martin. Can you expand on the “other privacy related settings” that “are only available to customers with a Google account?

  10. SD said on February 24, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    I am a pretty unsavvy consumer who is worried about tech monopolies. I stumbled across this site when looking for a natural language explanation of Google’s change in services. Am wondering what you all use instead of Google Drive, etc. since it is ubiquitous in my workplace, volunteer positions, and in our schools (Google classroom) for doing anything collaborative across offices. I don’t like having so much of my life beholden to this behemoth, but am wondering what the options are and how a low person on the totem pole (me) can pitch other products to the powers that be.

    1. gollem said on February 25, 2020 at 7:52 am

      Well, being that you’re not tech savy and a low person on the totem pole, then you likely shouldn’t be pitching ideas to the powers that be. In other words, first get educated.

      1. Xepshunall said on March 6, 2020 at 9:36 pm

        I appreciate your response. It’s entertaining because of the irony. You suggest that SD get educated before pitching ideas to the powers-that-be. Of course, you didn’t correct the spelling of savvy, nor did you use a hyphen to properly say, “tech-savvy”. Let’s not forget the required, second comma in your final sentence, after the word “first”.

        Well, being that you’re not tech-savvy and a low person on the totem pole, then you likely shouldn’t be pitching ideas to the powers that be. In other words, first, get educated.

        I suppose that you aren’t aware of the truth about totem poles. The low man is the most significant figure represented. Education is lacking in your post. To be fair, you don’t have the right to advise SD about education until you are a worthy role model.

        I used a well-known grammar assistant to ensure that my post seemed as though it had come from one who has earned the right to suggest seeking education.

  11. Bill said on February 23, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    What I find particularly troubling is that I am interpreting the fact that they have the right to view and share any of my data. If that’s the case they can access anything in my drive cloud account and share it without my permission. But in their words it’s still my intellectual property.

    Not that I have anything proprietary or illegal but that seems like an unreasonable expectation if it’s accurately interpreted.

    1. wateber said on February 25, 2020 at 8:06 am


      “my data”

      Is it, or did you give it away, so now it’s at best co-owned?

      Note that this is a legal matter, and not that of feelings or expectations.

      “If that’s the case”

      Is it? There’s no need to speculate, just read their agreement with you.

      “But in their words it’s still my intellectual property”

      More than one party can own the same intellectual property, so that point is rather moot and redundant.

      “seems like an unreasonable expectation”

      Understand the agreement. If you don’t like, then don’t use their services.

      It’s not that complicated.

      1. Hizzard said on February 26, 2020 at 7:17 pm

        Wow, that was REEEAL helpful, thanks!

  12. fjghuitr8392 said on February 22, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Just use ungoogled-chromium. Best way to use chrome without google.

  13. Jeff said on February 22, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Poor Recommendations
    KaiOS was paid tens of millions of dollars by partner Google to ensure market penetration (especially targeting India):

    Zero Privacy Policy
    ‘Kai’s products and services may also use or offer products or services from third parties. Information collected by third parties (namely Google) which may include such things as location data or contact details, is governed by their privacy practices.’

    In the USA virtually every phone requires accepting Google or Apple invasive terms of service.
    That is why the $149 true privacy-based Pinephone will cause a revolution later this year.
    Also Huawei is building its own walled-garden OS/ecosystem which may offer many privacy advantages for those outside of China. They (and in essence the CCP) have stated they will never go-back to depending upon Google.

  14. Kincaid said on February 22, 2020 at 9:45 am

    “And for android? (probably not iOS because it is much more anti-freedom!)”

    Great question! If you want a smartphone without any Google or Apple (or a limited amount of one of them), your choices include:

    1. /e/ –
    2. Replicant –
    3. LineageOS –
    4. CopperheadOS –
    5. KaiOS –
    6. Rooted Android with Google removed
    7. Stock non-rooted Android with Google blocked/restricted

    There are many other options as well, but these are the ones with which I am the most familiar.

  15. Sis said on February 22, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Not only have they done the above they are now moving people who lived in the EU out of their Ireland t’s and c’s claiming you are living in UK because you use English UK as language whether you live there or not. It seems Google has not cottoned on to the fact that people move around in a time when globalisation is all the rage. And not one of their services as far as I can tell provide the option to tell Google in which country you reside. It is virtually impossible to remove yourself from Google when friends and family use Gmail and Drive not to mention the time it takes to keep checking that all the privacy settings are up to date and in place.

  16. First Last said on February 21, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    As a fish out of water as far as this new kind of infringement by Google goes, I’m grateful for this information/translation, ie still hard at it spying on you, and if you don’t agree, get out! Wow!
    Compared to many peers, I as a baby boomer am way ahead of most, but still know little compared to you. I intend now to wean myself off of Google; which search engine do you recommend? And please do you have a recommendation for a replacement for Drive, where I keep all of my documents? Thank you

  17. ss said on February 21, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Haha. Never ever I would use Chrome OS and I do not use Chrome Browser. I have had my google account for almost 2 decades, but started using another one some time ago. So…

  18. Sebas said on February 21, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Google is too big to fail. Only when they hinder the globalists, then maybe, after thirty years or so, something is done. And it still won’t work out the way it should be. Because globalists.

    Read this opinion of Soros about Facebook:

    “The social media company is going to get Trump re-elected — because it’s good for business”.

    So no, this is from going bad to worse.

  19. Herman Cost said on February 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Yawn. I uninstalled Chrome a long time ago and certainly would never even consider Google Drive, so this does not affect me. Is it arrogant, though? Sure it is. Is it a smart move when you are facing antitrust and restraint of trade investigations around the world? Time will tell, but Google deserves its comeuppance.

  20. Tom said on February 21, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    I’m surprised it took them this long. The danger with a single ecosystem like this is that, if they ban you, boy do they ban you. You’re banned from Youtube, you’re banned from Gmail, you’re banned from Docs, you’re banned from Drive, and you’re probably banned from signing into your own Chromebook as well! All in one swoop.

    If you’re a college student or someone who is deeply into the Google ecosystem as part of your job and the above happens, that would be one hell of a nightmare.

    Contrast the above with using different services for everything, and USB sticks to shift files around. If one service bans you, it isn’t that big of a deal. Because everything else will still work.

    1. ss said on February 21, 2020 at 9:57 pm

      I coudn’t agree more.

  21. Dave said on February 21, 2020 at 3:17 pm


    WTF is “”?

    Sorry for not posting on that thread but It won’t load because “it requires javascript”.

    I’m seeing it in my RSS feed but I come here, click home at the top and, it’s not on the list?

    I’m assuming it’s a full page advertisiment disguised as a story?

    1. Anonymous said on February 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      @Dave, once javascript allowed the page displays:

      “Please provide your email address to enter the giveaway *
      Email addresses will be used to contact the winners. Terms and Conditions and Privacy policy”

      I provided “” and was answered that my email had been successfully accepted. Of course I’d have to confirm which is unlikely :=)

  22. brrrr said on February 21, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    2025: Chrome dominate the search browsers, FF disappeared some times ago, Edge survives.
    New TOS: “You must be logged in to use our services…In all cases, you must accept our conditions. If you disagree, you are free to use another service.”

    1. A said on February 21, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      We can save FF but don’t want to unfortunately!

      1. brrr said on February 22, 2020 at 11:02 am

        The issue regarding FF’s slow collapse has already been discussed on ghacks I guess. Google has done big damages from the start (see the story with youtube rendering on FF, chrome by default on Android, google product’s appeal).
        As said in this thread, maybe only margaret Verstager can save us and FF.

        The point is if a company dominates some services, and meticously destroyed their rivals because of their position, they shouldn’t be allowed to chain us that way with their TOS.

  23. Anonymous said on February 21, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    “March 31, 2020” ? Are you sure this is not a farce for the “1er Avril”

  24. Tommy said on February 21, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Sign in you say?

    er no thanks never have never will.

  25. JohnIL said on February 21, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Condensed version, yep we are still spying on you! Only now were forced to admit it or face paying a big fine!

  26. Norbert Gostischa said on February 21, 2020 at 11:49 am

    For a translator, you could try the following,

  27. Kincaid said on February 21, 2020 at 11:42 am

    “Google Chrome and Chrome OS users who don’t want to accept the updated Terms of Service have only one option according to Google: to stop using the services.”

    That’s exactly what I did a long time ago. Furthermore, I block Google services and IP blocks via Firewall rules.

    For every Google product that I initially found useful, I found a competitor with better ethics, better terms, better UI and UX, better service, and better privacy.

    1. Pasta Bill said on March 23, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      Would you please tell us who they are?

    2. Bullspin said on February 21, 2020 at 4:41 pm

      May I concur with Kincaid that the solution to Google’s pathological abuse of privacy and voracious appetite for personal data (my words) demand that an individual’s approach to the internet requires that (until it may be regulated statutorily by US law) Google be avoided at all cost; their services are a masque for unscrupulous and, often, evil purposes.

    3. A said on February 21, 2020 at 3:44 pm

      And for android? (probably not iOS because it is much more anti-freedom!)

      But i agree, i moved to firefox as soon as chrome didn’t let me to sync and in the same time log out from

  28. thebrowser said on February 21, 2020 at 10:39 am

    I mean, they’ve only made it even more clear that they are logging your activity even when you use any of their products or services. logged in or not. I’m more interested in knowing why this update to their TOS is only coming up now. Maybe because the media and public are so used to the data breach ‘breaking news’ that by now this won’t make a difference?

  29. TelV said on February 21, 2020 at 9:42 am

    One such service is Google Translate. I just came across the change a couple of minutes ago. It would appear that users won’t be able to use the translation site unless they’re logged in soon.

    I’m not even using the Chrome browser either. I do have a Google a/c but hardly ever log into it. But it looks like I’ll have to soon just to translate something simple written in another language which I don’t understand.

    I hope Margrethe Verstager views things differently and grabs Google by the short and curlies to bring about a change in their thinking.

    1. Anonymous said on February 22, 2020 at 9:56 am

      Did you even read the text.. It’s just the translation history that will be tied to account

    2. Rockefellow said on February 21, 2020 at 5:02 pm

      Google’s Translation history only is concerned which doesn’t bother me given I clean the browser with bleach whenever I’ve used any of the Inquisitor’s services which is seldom, not to mention preventive action with all that is imaginable to calm down the company’s eagerness to know me better than I do myself. Of course no Google account. When you think about it, making a fortune by means of digging in people’s lives is rude, vulgar, cheap. Some businesses are honorable, but certainly not theirs.

      1. commonSense said on February 27, 2020 at 4:11 am

        Rocketfellow – that is a ridiculous argument. I don’t think you understand how big data works, but let me assure you, you (and I) are highly insignificant random variables and it is not our behavior that they wish to categorize. They are simply using the data they have to optimize the mean experience. Google started out with just PageRank and it was the best search engine anyone had ever thought of. Everyone had access to all the links on all the pages of the then-small internet. But only Google was smart enough to use the data in an intelligent way, to apply a reputation measure to pages to track how much their links should be worth. Every other half-decent search engine that has ever been made has been a blatant rip off of this PageRank algorithm. Further, the vast majority of Google users cannot afford to pay for their services, thus we are all very okay with paying them in the form of ads. There is no reason to be paranoid about them having access to your data, you can be far more paranoid about taxes. The treasury regularly turns tax data over to University scientists for economics studies, and in doing so, they are giving your information to miscellaneous grad students to help establish trends. Also, Anonymous’ argument is stupid, we all want privacy. I’m saying you should not worry because you’re one in several billion and there is precisely zero chance anyone at Google would ever single you out and dig through your data.

      2. Anonymous said on February 24, 2020 at 7:35 pm

        If you have nothing to hide, why worry?

      3. Anonymous said on February 28, 2020 at 11:22 pm

        Asks the person named ‘Anonymous’. LOL!

      4. Anonymous said on March 23, 2020 at 4:34 pm


    3. Klaas Vaak said on February 21, 2020 at 11:04 am

      @TeIV: on the GT page it only mentions translation history.

      1. TelV said on February 21, 2020 at 3:52 pm

        @Klaas Vaak, it’s a mute point, but it implies Google is trying to create yet another means to track users by requiring login to the MyActivity page in order to view past translations.

      2. t said on February 21, 2020 at 5:37 pm


    4. DropZz said on February 21, 2020 at 10:07 am

      Thx for the Info. I hope Mozilla soon releases there own Translation Service or is there any good alternative?

      1. Ed_Hunter said on March 2, 2020 at 1:22 am

        I happen to know two other languages and Google translator is crap, your best bet is to find a native speaker if you ever need a reliable translation.

      2. Graham said on February 21, 2020 at 12:17 pm

        Bing Translator is a good alternative.

      3. S K Lewicki said on February 21, 2020 at 11:23 am

        Try DeepL Translator – it works for me. I try to avoid everything g**gle if I can.

      4. Pedro said on February 21, 2020 at 11:06 am

        DeepL is light-years better than Google Translate. It doesn’t translate websites though. Only text.

      5. Klaas Vaak said on February 21, 2020 at 11:04 am

        @DropZz: for a limited number of languages there DeepL, which is certainly a match for GT.

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