19 June 2020
When it comes to creating a Facebook app, most of your time will probably be spent on app development and technical execution.
However, there's a crucially important aspect of every Facebook app that you must not forget about: legal pages.
This legal agreement is used to inform users exactly what data you're collecting from them, how that data is being stored and used, and to what scope.
This information will allow your users to decide if they're comfortable with the level of personal data you intend to collect, and allows them to make an informed decision to proceed with using your Facebook app or not.
Most countries have privacy laws in place that require websites and mobile apps to have some sort of disclosure (statement) of what personal data is being collected from users.
In the US, the California Online Privacy Protection Act, or CalOPPA, dictates that if any personally identifiable information is collected from or about users who live in the state of California through a website or app, that website or app must conspicuously post this legal agreement.
The statement must let the users know about the business data collection and use.
Web sites and apps from all over the world are regularly accessed by users from all over other parts of the world. CalOPPA and the EU Directives reach far beyond California and the EU due to the broad nature of the internet and apps nowadays.
As a developer of a Facebook app, you'll be required to adhere to the Platform Policy of Facebook.
Facebook requires that app developers do the following:
Here are the guidelines from Facebook on users' privacy to all app developers:
This information is made available to users on the dialog page where users must choose to accept that Buffer will be to their Facebook accounts, through the legal links find at the bottom of the dialog window:
Your Facebook app won't go live and won't be listed in Facebook's App Center without the URL to this legal agreement added in the "Support Info section".
The steps are:
Terms of Service sections are incredibly important components of every Facebook app as they dictate how users can use your app, their responsibilities, what should be expected of your app, and so on.
A Terms of Service can prevent abuses and will allow you to manage expectations, as well as give you legal recourse if users violate your terms and rules.
While a Terms of Service isn't required by law to be included on websites or mobile apps, it's a requirement from Facebook if you're developing an app for their platform.
You wouldn't want to skip this valuable agreement of your app anyway.
The language in Facebook's Terms of Service agreement makes it clear that developers must follow what is laid out in the legal agreement and in the guidelines or risk having their accounts, including their apps, shut down.
Facebook reserves the right to stop providing services if a developer doesn't comply with the rules by stating that, "if you violate the letter or spirit of this Statement, or otherwise create risk or possible legal exposure for us, we can stop providing all or part of Facebook to you."
As a developer of an app, you can include similar language in your own Terms of Service agreement to make sure that your app isn't misused or that your content isn't compromised.
Once you have the Terms of Service created and you're ready to add it to your Facebook app, do the following steps.
Remember that your Facebook app will not go live without you completing these steps.
This article is not a substitute for professional legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice.