This page describes Access Transparency and how to enable Access Transparency logs.
Access Transparency logs record the actions that Google personnel take when accessing your content.
Access Transparency logs give you different information than Cloud Audit Logs. Cloud Audit Logs record the actions that members in your Google Cloud organization have taken in your Google Cloud resources, whereas Access Transparency logs record the actions taken by Google personnel.
When to use Access Transparency
You might need Access Transparency logs data for the following reasons:
- Verifying that Google personnel are accessing your content only for valid business reasons, such as fixing an outage or when the Google Support team attends to your requests.
- Verifying that Google personnel haven't made an error when carrying out your instructions.
- Verifying and tracking compliance with legal or regulatory obligations.
- Collecting and analyzing tracked access events through an automated security information and event management (SIEM) tool.
Access Transparency is enabled at the Google Cloud organization level. To enable Access Transparency at the project level, contact Google Cloud Support.
Enabling Access Transparency
To enable Access Transparency for your Google Cloud organization, your Google Cloud organization must have one of the following customer support levels:
- One of the following Role-Based Support
- Four or more Development roles.
- Four or more Production roles.
- A combination of four or more Development or Production roles.
You can enable Access Transparency using the Google Cloud Console. For more information, see the section Configuring Access Transparency using the Cloud Console.
If you're not sure whether your Google Cloud organization has the appropriate Support level, check your Google Cloud Support console:
In the Support panel, you see either your Support status or the option to upgrade your level.
Configuring Access Transparency using the Cloud Console
If your Google Cloud organization has the Gold or Platinum support package, follow these instructions to enable or disable Access Transparency using the Cloud Console:
Check your organization-level permissions:
Go to the Cloud Console IAM page:
If you're prompted, select the Google Cloud organization in the selector menu.
Verify that you have the IAM role Access Transparency Admin (
roles/axt.admin) listed in the Role column for your Member listing.
Select any Google Cloud project within the organization using the selector menu.
Access Transparency is configured on a Google Cloud project page but Access Transparency is enabled for the entire organization. To enable Access Transparency per project, contact Google Cloud Support.
Verify that the Google Cloud project is associated with a billing account; you can configure Access Transparency in the Cloud Console only from a project that is associated with a billing account:
- In the left-hand navigation menu, select Billing. If you see the message This project is not associated with a billing account, then either select a different project or see instructions for Changing the billing account for a project.
Go to the IAM & Admin > Settings page.
- Click the Enable Access Transparency button.
If your Google Cloud project isn't associated with the proper Support package or billing account, or you lack the proper permissions, then this button isn't displayed. Contact Google Cloud Support for further assistance.
Disabling Access Transparency
To disable Access Transparency, contact Google Cloud Support.
For information on contacting Google Cloud Support, see Google Cloud Support.
Google services producing Access Transparency logs
For a list of Google services that provide Access Transparency logs, see Google services with Access Transparency logs.
What's excluded from Access Transparency logs?
Access Transparency logs are generated when Google personnel access content that you've uploaded into an Access Transparency supported service, except in the following scenarios:
Google is legally prohibited from notifying you of the access.
You've granted the Google personnel access to your content by using your Identity and Access Management policy; their activities are recorded in Cloud Audit Logs (when enabled), not Access Transparency logs.
The access doesn't target a particular user's content; for example, a Google engineer querying for the average size of records in a database that contains content from multiple Google Cloud customers.
The content in question is a public resource identifier. For example:
- Google Cloud project IDs
- Cloud Storage bucket names
- Compute Engine VM names
- Google Kubernetes Engine cluster names
- BigQuery resource names (including datasets, tables, and reservations)
The access originates from a standard workflow; for example, a compression job that runs on the content or disk destruction during the content deletion process. Details are as follows:
Google uses an internal version of Binary Authorization to check that system code running on Access Transparency services has been reviewed by multiple Google personnel before it accesses customer content. The reviewer must be designated as an owner of the source code, preventing modification by unauthorized Google personnel.
Google validates that the system job accessing customer content is authorized to do so. For example:
- To grant you access to your own content
- To index, compress, or perform other optimization operations
- To run scheduled jobs or workloads
Google detects whether access to customer content is targeted or untargeted before generating Access Transparency logs. If there is no way to identify a customer from the content that was accessed, an Access Transparency log won't be generated.
Google strictly limits the number and permissions of personnel who could access customer content while performing tasks on low-level infrastructure. Google uses encryption to limit the ability for personnel in these situations to read customer content, and closely monitors personnel behavior with internal logging and auditing. These low-level accesses don't generate Access Transparency logs.
Access Transparency logs are non-chargeable. However, enabling Access Transparency requires certain Google Cloud Support levels. See Enabling Access Transparency for details.
To understand the contents of Access Transparency log entries, see Understanding and using Access Transparency logs.
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