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Simplifying Our Platform Terms and Developer Policies

July 1, 2020ByEddie O'Neil

Over the last several years, we’ve changed how we handle data and how we hold our partners accountable for accessing and managing data. We’ve restricted access to APIs, enhanced app review, launched an app developer investigation and most recently, formalized our agreement with the FTC. To ensure developers have the tools and information they need to continue to use our platform responsibly, we’re making improvements in four areas:

  • Providing developers with clearer guidance around data usage and sharing.
  • Building new tools and controls to hold developers accountable such as the annual Data Use Checkup process in which developers can review the types of data they have access to via Facebook Platform APIs and confirm that their use of that data complies with our terms and policies.
  • Improving the developer experience by customizing the onboarding and App Review processes to better support different types of developers and updating the App Dashboard to make it easier to see all required actions.
  • Improving the user experience by offering additional policy guidance in order to provide your users a positive experience on your app.

As part of our work in the first area, today, we’re introducing new Platform Terms and Developer Policies to ensure businesses and developers clearly understand their responsibility to safeguard data and respect people’s privacy when using our platform and tools.

The new Platform Terms and Developer Policies will simplify and replace the existing Facebook Platform Policy (including Messenger Platform), Instagram Platform Policy, Supplemental Terms for Extended Platform Products, and Tech Provider Amendment.

Platform Terms: The Platform Terms have been updated to focus on data use restrictions, data security requirements, enforcement provisions, and legal terms and warranties, like intellectual property (IP) rights. This will help better outline developers’ rights and responsibilities when building products and solutions on the Facebook Platform:

  • Use and Sharing of Platform Data: The updated Platform Terms define a two-tiered structure for data that developers receive from our platform with clear guidance on how developers may use and share each tier of data. This new distinction between Platform Data and Restricted Platform Data limits the information developers can share with third parties without explicit consent from users and strengthens our protection of user data.
  • Data Deletion: We are also clarifying the policy’s requirements around data deletion. Developers are required to delete data if the data is no longer needed for a legitimate business purpose, the developer stops operating the product or service, we request the deletion, or the data was received by the developer in error.
  • Enforcement & Oversight: The updated terms strengthen our provisions on data security requirements for developers and require them to notify us of data breaches, immediately begin remediation of the incident, and reasonably cooperate with us. They also clarify our provisions on auditing, termination, and enforcement.

Developer Policies: We’ve separated integrity, quality control, user experience, content, aesthetic, and functional requirements into a single document called Developer Policies.

We’ll notify developers of these changes via email, in the app dashboard and on developers.facebook.com and in the Instagram Help Center. Developers should review these terms and policies to ensure their practices comply with the updated requirements before they go into effect August 31, 2020. However, there’s no action required in order to agree to the new terms and policies.

We’re also updating our Business Terms, including our Business Tools Terms, which may cover data involved with certain usages of the Facebook SDK, Facebook Login, and social plugins. We are also making a few changes to our Commercial Terms to make these clearer and easier to understand. You can learn more about the changes we’re making here.

Page Public Content Access (PPCA) Feature Policy Enforcement

As another measure to clarify data usage guidance, we are also reminding developers that our developer documentation states that PPCA can only be used to provide competitive benchmark analysis. Later this year, we’ll start enforcing this policy more broadly across developers with PPCA access. Developers with PPCA access should ensure that they are only using the feature for this purpose, and may be required to go through App Review in the coming months to retain access.

We believe people, businesses and developers deserve a safe and secure platform, and these changes will help strengthen trust with people who use our apps and drive long-term value for developers who use our platform. Learn more on the new Platform Initiatives Hub.


July 14, 2020: The Platform Initiatives Hub has been updated to reflect a fourth improvement, focused on user experience and policy guidance for developers.