Last modified: February 15, 2021
The Company is domiciled in Switzerland at the following address:
Proton Technologies AG, Route de la Galaise 32, 1228 Plan-les-Ouates Geneva, Switzerland
Therefore, it is governed by the laws and regulations of Switzerland. Additional information about the legal framework can be found in our Transparency Report.
Any email address provided to ProtonMail through either our waiting list, optional email verification, or optional notification/recovery email setting in your account, is considered personal data as defined and protected by the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA).
Such data will only be used to contact you with important notifications about ProtonMail, to send you information related to security, to send you an invitation link to create your ProtonMail account, to verify your ProtonMail account, or to send you password recovery links if you enable the option. We may also inform you about new Proton products in which you might have an interest. You are free, at any given time, to opt-out of those features through the account settings panel.
In order to maintain the integrity of the service, ProtonMail must take measures to avoid creation of accounts by spammers. This is because if spammers use ProtonMail to send messages, ProtonMail’s IP addresses can become blocked by major mail providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.
In order to pursue our legitimate interest of preventing the creation of accounts by spam bots or human spammers, ProtonMail uses a variety of human verification methods. You may be asked to verify using either reCaptcha, Email, or SMS. IP addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers provided are saved temporarily in order to send you a verification code and to determine if you are a spammer. If this data is saved permanently, it is always saved as a cryptographic hash, which ensures that the raw values cannot be deciphered by us. Learn More
Our company’s overriding policy is to collect as little user information as possible to ensure a completely private and anonymous user experience when using the Service. We also have no technical means to access your encrypted message contents.
Service's user data collection is limited to the following:
Visiting our website: We employ a local installation of Matomo, an open source analytics tool. Analytics are anonymized whenever possible and stored locally (and not on the cloud).
Account creation: It is not necessary to provide personal information in order to create an account, but you may provide an external email address for notification or password recovery purposes. Should you choose to provide it, we do associate another email address with your account (for password recovery, or notifications). The legal basis for processing is consent and you are free to remove that data in the account panel of your ProtonMail account.
Account activity: Due to limitations of the SMTP protocol, we have access to the following email metadata: sender and recipient email addresses, the IP address incoming messages originated from, message subject, and message sent and received times. We do NOT have access to encrypted message content but unencrypted messages sent from external providers to ProtonMail are scanned for Spam and Viruses to pursue the legitimate interest of the protection of our users. We also have access to the following records of account activity: number of messages sent, amount of storage space used, total number of messages, last login time.
Communicating with ProtonMail: Your communications with the Company, such as support requests, bug reports, or feature requests may be saved by our staff. The legal basis for processing is our legitimate interest to troubleshoot more efficiently and improve the quality of the ProtonMail service.
IP Logging: By default, ProtonMail does not keep permanent IP logs. However, IP logs may be kept temporarily to combat abuse and fraud, and your IP address may be retained permanently if you are engaged in activities that breach our terms and conditions (spamming, DDoS attacks against ProtonMail infrastructure, brute force attacks, etc). The legal basis of this processing is our legitimate interest to protect our service against nefarious activities.
Your login IP address is also kept permanently (until you delete it) if you enable authentication logging for your account (by default this is off). The legal basis of this processing is consent, and you are free to opt-in or opt-out at any time in the security panel of your ProtonMail account.
Payment Information: The Company relies on third parties to process credit card, PayPal, and Bitcoin transactions so the Company necessarily must share payment information with third parties. Anonymous cash or Bitcoin payments and donations are accepted however. The legal basis of this processing is the necessity to the execution of the contract between you and us.
Import Assistant: When using Import Assistant to transfer your data, you can choose from multiple options:
Import Assistant with “Sign in with Google”: When you use our Import Assistant Tool to import your data from Google and authenticate using the “Sign in with Google” option, Import Assistant’s use of information received from Google APIs will comply with the Google API Services User Data Policy, including the Limited Use requirements.
Import Assistant with a username and password combination: When you use our Import Assistant Tool to import your emails from another service provider, the credentials of the email account from which the importation is performed are stored by the Company for the duration of the importation. Once the importation is performed, those credentials are entirely deleted from our systems.
We do not have any advertising on our site. Any data that we do have will never be shared except under the circumstances described below in the Data Disclosure Section. We do NOT do any analysis on the limited data we do possess with two exceptions:
All servers used in connection with the provisioning of the Service are located in Switzerland and wholly owned and operated by the Company. Only employees of the Company have physical or other access to the servers. Data is ALWAYS stored in encrypted format on our servers. Offline backups may be stored periodically, but these are also encrypted. We do not possess the ability to access any user encrypted message content on either the production servers or in the backups.
Proton's alternative routing technology allows Proton apps to bypass many censorship blocks, but your network traffic may go through third party networks which we do not control. This could enable a third party to record your IP address or see that you are using Proton apps (the same information that your Internet Service Provider is able to see). These third parties cannot see your actual data, which remains encrypted. By default, alternative routing is not used for Proton apps unless they detect that censorship measures are active on your network. Alternative routing can also be completely disabled in the Settings panel of all of our mobile and desktop applications. However, doing so may cause you to be unable to access your Proton account if you are on a network that is censoring Proton. Learn more
Through the Service, you can directly access, edit, delete or export personal data processed by the Company in your use of the Service.
If your account has been suspended for a breach of our terms and conditions, and you would like to exercise the rights related to your personal data, you can make a request to our support team.
In case of violation of your rights, you have the right to lodge a complaint to the competent supervisory authority.
When a ProtonMail account is closed, data is immediately deleted from production servers. Active accounts will have data retained indefinitely. Deleted emails are also permanently deleted from production servers. Deleted data may be retained in our backups for up to 14 days.
We will only disclose the limited user data we possess if we are instructed to do so by a fully binding request coming from the competent Swiss authorities (legal obligation). While we may comply with electronically delivered notices (see exceptions below), the disclosed data can only be used in court after we have received an original copy of the court order by registered post or in person, and provide a formal response.
If a request is made for encrypted message content that ProtonMail does not possess the ability to decrypt, the fully encrypted message content may be turned over. If permitted by law, ProtonMail will always contact a user first before any data disclosure. Under Swiss law, it is obligatory to notify the target of a data request, although such notification may come from the authorities and not from the Company.
ProtonMail may from time to time, contest requests if there is a public interest in doing so. In such situations, the Company will not comply with the request until all legal or other remedies have been exhausted. Therefore, not all requests described in our Transparency Report will lead to data disclosure.