Legal aspects to consider by developers and applications for Facebook

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The possible legal responsibility of platforms for developers with the launch of apps represents a problem still characterized by a lack of legal security. We will look at compliance with the platform’s standards by developers and applications, focusing specifically on Facebook.

Since the App Store opened, the number of app repositories has grown at an amazing rate, resulting in numerous transnational business models.

In this context, Facebook stands out in terms of Web 2.0 and its ability to create brand community and positioning, among other advantages. Application platforms like Facebook establish standards that the apps and developers must comply with and adhere to the terms and conditions stipulated in the legal documents. In Facebook, the documents that contain its platform standards are:

Facebook’s trend regarding its increase in the level of legal and regulatory compliance seems to been strengthened. It has an effect in terms of the platform’s requirements for the apps developed in its environment if the holders want to avoid their app being disabled and going into “sandbox mode”.

Independently of the EULA that all developers must draft for their applications, here I have specific solutions for complying with the legal requirements for the Facebook platform:

  • Specific terms and conditions of service and privacy policy for the app
  • Publishing of the specific terms and conditions of service and privacy policy for the app in a HTML web page
  • Link to the terms and conditions of service and privacy policy on the app’s website
  • Hybrid solutions in which combine a specific legal notice for the app and the link to the terms and conditions of service and the privacy policy on the app’s website

Facebook is set on increasing the legal standards of its platform, therefore it is even more critical for developers to revise their terms and conditions of service that govern their apps developed for this social network.

Jose Manuel Pérez Marzabal (@jmperezmarzabal) is a lawyer who specializes in Internet and e-commerce atMTNProjects. Furthermore, he is a visiting professor at BES La Salle and a teaching consultant at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). He has a Master’s degree in International Law (LL.M) from WWU Münster and a Diploma in Advanced Studies in International Law and Economics from the University of Barcelona.