Facebook (now part of Meta) is a social media and social networking service that allows users to connect with friends, family and other people they know and share photos and videos, send messages, and get updates. The terms state that Facebook allows users to communicate with other users with messages or posts. For example, when users post on Facebook, they select the audience for the post, such as a group, all of their friends, the public, or a customized list of people. The terms state that Facebook does not sell users' data to advertisers and never will, which includes personal information like a user’s name or the content of their Facebook posts. However, the terms state Facebook may use the information they collect about a user including information about their interests, actions, and connections to select and personalize ads, offers, and other sponsored content. The terms state Facebook is broadly available to everyone, but a child cannot register an account to use Facebook if they are under 13 years old. In addition, a user who is over 13 years old, but under 18 years of age, may use Facebook, but they must obtain consent from their parent or legal guardian.
Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include:
- Facebook Principles
- Privacy and Security Basics
- Minors and Safety
- Facebook Privacy Page
- Facebook Safety Page
- Community Standards
- About Facebook Ads
- Cookies Policy
- EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Notice
The terms state that Facebook allows users to communicate with other users with messages or posts. For example, when users post on Facebook, they select the audience for the post, such as a group, all of their friends, the public, or a customized list of people. Similarly, when users use Facebook's Messenger or Instagram to communicate with people or businesses, those people and businesses can see the content they share. In addition, the terms state that a user's social network can also see actions they have taken on the service, including engagement with ads and sponsored content. Facebook also lets other accounts see who has viewed their Facebook or Instagram stories.
The terms state that information made public on the service can be seen by anyone, including if they don't have an account. This includes a user's username, any information they share with a public audience, any information in their public profile on Facebook, and any content they share on a Facebook Page. In addition, if users are uncomfortable with what others have shared about them on the service, they can report that content to Facebook. Moreover, Facebook's terms state they content moderate and block content and harmful conduct towards others. The terms state that if Facebook learns of inappropriate content or conduct, they will take appropriate action - for example, offering help, removing content, blocking access to certain features, disabling an account, or contacting law enforcement.
Facebook's terms state the types and amount of personal information collected from users depend on how they use the service. For example, the terms state Facebook collects a user's contact information if they choose to upload, sync or import it from a device such as an address book or call log or SMS log history, which Facebook may use for things like helping users and others find people they may know. In addition, the terms state Facebook collects location-related information from users such as their current location, where they live, the places they like to go, and the businesses and people they are near in order to provide, personalize, and improve their service, including displaying ads to users and others. Also, if users have it turned on, Facebook may use face recognition technology to recognize a user in photos, videos, and camera experiences on the service.
Facebook's terms state they collect information about the people, Facebook pages, and groups a user is connected to and how they interact with them across the service, such as people they communicate with the most or groups they are part of. In addition, the terms state Facebook may collect behavioral information about how a user uses the service, such as the types of content they view or engage with; the features they use; the actions they take; the people or accounts they interact with; and the time, frequency and duration of their activities. Facebook may combine this behavioral information with other personal information collected from users across different devices or applications.
The terms state Facebook does not sell users' data to advertisers which includes personal information like a user’s name or the content of their Facebook posts. However, the terms state Facebook may use the information they collect about a user-including information about their interests, actions and connections-to select and personalize ads, offers and other sponsored content. Third-party partners may track users and provide information to Facebook about their activities off Facebook—including information about a user's device, other websites they visit, purchases they make, the ads they see, and how they use their services—whether or not they have a Facebook account or are logged into Facebook. The terms also state a user could see ads served by Facebook on other websites, apps and connected TVs if they use Facebook's advertising products. The Facebook Audience Network is a collection of third-party publishers who support their businesses by displaying ads to Facebook users. Lastly, the terms state users give Facebook permission to use their name and profile picture and information about actions they have taken on Facebook with ads, offers, and other sponsored content that they may display to other users.
Facebook's terms state they use reasonable security practices to protect users' personal information such as encryption. In addition, the terms state that in order to operate their global service, they need to store and distribute a user's content and data in data centers and systems around the world. However, the terms do not provide any additional details about their security practices and do not disclose whether they provide notification to users in the event of a data breach.
The terms state that Facebook is broadly available to everyone, but a child cannot register an account to use Facebook if they are under 13 years old. In addition, a user who is over 13 years old, but under 18 years of age, may use Facebook, but they must obtain consent from their parent or legal guardian. To protect minors, Facebook may put special safeguards in place (such as placing restrictions on the ability of adults to share and connect with them), recognizing this may provide minors a more limited experience on Facebook. The terms also state Facebook provides users with the ability to access, rectify, delete, and export their information by visiting their Facebook Settings. Lastly, the terms state users own the content they create and share on Facebook and the service stores data until it is no longer necessary to provide the services.
Every privacy rating includes an overall score. A higher score (up to 100%) means the product provides more transparent privacy policies with better practices to protect user data. The score is best used is as an indicator of how much additional work a person will need to do to make an informed decision about a product.
|Basic Score||Full Score|
The privacy evaluation process summarizes the policies of an application or service into concern categories based on a subset of evaluation questions that can be used to quickly identify particular practices of a vendor’s policies. These concerns are composed of evaluation questions that can be used to calculate scores relative to that concern.
|Concern||Basic Score||Full Score|
|Data Collection: Protecting personal information||50||55|
|Data Sharing: Protecting data from third parties||100||90|
|Data Security: Protecting against unauthorized access||0||25|
|Data Rights: Controlling rights to data||88||85|
|Data Sold: Preventing sale of data||75||40|
|Data Safety: Promoting responsible use||67||75|
|Ads & Tracking: Prohibiting the exploitation of users' decision making process||50||60|
|Parental Consent: Protecting children’s personal information||50||20|
|School Purpose: Following student data privacy laws||0||0|
|Individual Control: Controlling data use||NA||35|
Each statute or regulation is associated with one or more evaluation questions. As such, we can calculate scores for each statute or regulation using only those questions associated with the statute or regulation. Each specific statute or regulation's score serves as an indirect proxy indicating the likelihood of the application or service satisfying all of its compliance obligations.
|Statute||Basic Score||Full Score|
|California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA)||79||63|
|Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)||64||52|
|Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)||50||38|
|Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA)||63||54|
|General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)||60||56|
1.1: Policy Version
- Privacy policies do indicate a version or effective date.
- Privacy policies indicate a change log or past policy version is available.
1.2: Policy Notice
- Users are notified if there are any material changes to the policies.
- Privacy policies do not indicate the method used to notify a user when policies are updated.
1.3: Policy Changes
- Users are notified prior to any material changes to the policies.
- Changes to the policies are effective immediately and continued use of the product indicates consent.
1.4: Policy Coverage
- Privacy policies indicate the products that are covered by the policies.
1.5: Privacy Contact
1.6: Policy Principles
- Privacy policies do indicate privacy principles, layered notices, or a table of contents.
1.7: Policy Language
- Privacy policies are available in multiple languages.
1.8: Intended Use
- Intended for children under 13.
- Intended for teens.
- Intended for adults over 18.
- Unclear whether intended for parents or guardians.
- Unclear whether intended for students.
- Unclear whether intended for teachers.
2: Focused Collection
2.1: Data Collection
- Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected.
- The categories of collected personally identifiable information are indicated.
- Geolocation data are collected.
- Biometric or health data are collected.
- Interactions, behaviors, or usage analytics data are collected.
- Sensitive data are collected.
- Data is automatically collected.
2.2: Data Source
- Unclear whether personal information or education records are collected from preK-12 students.
- Personal information from children under 13 years of age is not collected.
2.3: Data Excluded
- Specific types of personal information are excluded from collection.
2.4: Data Limitation
- Unclear whether the collection or use of data is limited to product requirements.
3: Data Sharing
3.1: Data Shared With Third Parties
- Collected information is shared with third parties.
- The categories of information shared with third parties are indicated.
3.2: Data Use by Third Parties
- The purpose for sharing a user's personal information with third parties is indicated.
- Data are shared for analytics.
- Data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
- Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
3.3: Data Not Shared With Third Parties
- Unclear whether there are specific categories of information that are not shared with third parties.
3.4: Data Sold to Third Parties
- Personal information is not sold or rented to third parties.
3.5: Third-Party Data Acquisition
- Personal information about users is obtained from third parties.
3.6: Third-Party Links
- Unclear whether links to third-party external websites are age-appropriate.
3.7: Third-Party Data Access
- Third parties are authorized to access a user's information.
3.8: Third-Party Data Collection
- Personal information of users is collected by a third party.
3.9: Third-Party Data Misuse
- Personal information can be deleted from a third party.
3.10: Third-Party Service Providers
- Third-party services are used to support the product.
- The roles of third-party service providers are indicated.
3.11: Third-Party Affiliates
- The categories of third parties that receive data are indicated.
3.12: Third-Party Policies
- Links to privacy policies of third-party companies are available.
3.13: Third-Party Data Combination
- Company may combine data with additional data from third-party sources.
- Unclear whether data shared with third parties can be combined with other data.
3.14: Third-Party Authentication
- Third-party login is supported.
- Personal information from third-party login providers is collected.
- Personal Information is shared with third-party login providers.
3.15: De-identified or Anonymized Data
- User information that is shared is shared in an anonymous or de-identified format.
- Unclear whether the company describes their de-identification process of user information.
3.16: Third-Party Contractual Obligations
- Contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
- Unclear whether contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying or de-identified information.
4: Respect for Context
4.1: Data Use
- Unclear whether use of information is limited to the purpose for which it was collected.
- The context or purpose for which data are collected is indicated.
4.2: Data Combination
- Unclear whether this product treats combined information as personally identifiable information (PII).
4.3: Data Notice
- Unclear whether notice is provided if the context in which data are collected changes.
4.4: Data Changes
- Unclear whether consent is obtained if the practices in which data are collected change.
4.5: Policy Enforcement
- Accounts may be terminated if users engage in any prohibited activities.
5: Individual Control
5.1: User Content
- Users can create or upload content.
5.2: User Consent
- Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
5.3: Remedy Process
- A grievance or remedy mechanism is available for users to file a complaint.
5.4: Data Settings
- Users can control the use of their information through privacy settings.
5.5: Data Disclosure
- Users can opt out from the disclosure or sale of their data to a third party.
- Unclear whether users can request to know what personal information has been shared with third parties.
- Unclear whether notice is provided in the event the company receives a government or legal request for a user's information.
5.6: Intellectual Property
- Users retain ownership of their data.
- A copyright license is claimed to data or content collected from a user.
- Any copyright license to a user's data is limited in scope or duration.
6: Access and Accuracy
6.1: Data Access
- Processes to access or review user data are available.
- Unclear whether methods are available to restrict who has access to data.
- Unclear whether the school, parents, or students can review student data.
6.2: Data Integrity
- Unclear whether the company attempts to maintain the accuracy of data they collect.
6.3: Data Correction
- Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.
- Unclear whether the school, parents, or students can modify inaccurate student information.
- Unclear whether the time period for the company to modify inaccurate data is indicated.
6.4: Data Retention
- A data-retention policy is available.
- Exceptions to the data retention policy exist.
6.5: Data Deletion
- Data are deleted when no longer necessary.
- A user's data are deleted upon account cancellation or termination.
- Processes to delete user data are available.
- Processes for authorized users to delete data are available.
- The time period for the company to delete data is indicated.
6.6: Data Portability
- Processes to download user data are available.
- A user can assign an authorized account manager or legacy contact.
7: Data Transfer
7.1: Data Handling
- User information can be transferred to a third party in the event of a merge, acquisition, or bankruptcy.
- Unclear whether notice is provided to users if the company assigns its rights or delegates its duties to another company.
- Unclear whether users are notified if their information is transferred to a third party.
7.2: Transfer Request
- Unclear whether user information can be deleted prior to its transfer to a third party.
7.3: Onward Contractual Obligations
- Unclear whether third-party transfers are contractually required to use the same privacy practices.
8.1: User Identity
- A user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
8.2: User Account
- Account creation is required.
- Unclear whether managed accounts are available.
- Unclear whether multi-factor account protection is available.
8.3: Third-Party Security
- Unclear whether third-parties with access to information are required to provide the same security protections as the company.
8.4: Data Confidentiality
- Reasonable security practices are used to protect data.
- Unclear whether this product limits employee or physical access to user information.
8.5: Data Transmission
- Unclear whether this product encrypts all data in transit.
8.6: Data Storage
- Unclear whether all data are stored in an encrypted format.
- The company is clear what jurisdiction a user's personal information is subject to.
8.7: Data Breach
- Unclear whether this product provides notice in the event of a data breach.
8.8: Data Oversight
- Unclear whether this product performs data-privacy and/or security-compliance audits.
9: Responsible Use
9.1: Social Interactions
- Users can interact with trusted users.
- Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
- Profile information must be shared for social interactions.
9.2: Data Visibility
- Personal information can be displayed publicly.
- Users can control how their data are displayed to others.
9.3: Monitor and Review
- User-created content is reviewed, screened, or monitored by the company.
- Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
- Social interactions between users are moderated.
- Social interactions of users are logged.
9.4: Report Content
- Users can filter or block inappropriate content.
- Users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
9.5: Internet Safety
- The company provides links to resources that support safe and appropriate social interactions.
10.1: Vendor Communications
- A user can receive service- or administrative-related communications from the company.
10.2: Traditional Advertising
- Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
10.3: Behavioral Advertising
- Personalised advertising is displayed.
10.4: Ad Tracking
- Data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
- User's information is used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
- Data profiles are created and used for personalised advertisements.
10.5: Filtered Advertising
- Ads displayed to children are filtered for inappropriate content.
10.6: Marketing Communications
- The company can send marketing messages.
- The company does provide promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
- Users can opt out of contextual, or personalised advertising.
- Users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
10.8: Do Not Track
- Unclear whether this product responds to "Do Not Track" or other opt-out mechanisms.
- The company does provide a method for users to opt-out from third-party tracking.
11.1: Children Under 13
- Unclear whether company has actual knowledge that personal information from users under 13 years of age is collected.
- The company does not provide a section, heading, or separate policy for children in their policies.
- Unclear whether this product restricts or prohibits account creation for users under 13 years of age.
11.2: Students in K–12
- Unclear whether this product is primarily used by, designed for, and marketed toward students in grades preK–12.
- Processes to enter education records into the product are not described.
- Unclear whether additional rights or protections may be provided with an additional school contract.
- Unclear whether the company is designated as a school official.
11.3: Parental Consent
- Unclear whether parental consent is required before personal information is collected or disclosed.
- Unclear whether this product limits parental consent with respect to third parties.
- Unclear whether this product allows parents to withdraw consent for the further collection of their child's information.
- Unclear whether this product deletes children's personal information if collected without parental consent.
- Unclear whether this product provides parental consent notice and method for submission.
- Unclear whether this product transfers parental consent obligations to the school or district.
11.4: Legal Requirements
- The legal jurisdiction that applies to the laws governing the policies is indicated.
- Unclear whether a user is required to waive the right to a jury trial, or settle any disputes by arbitration.
- Unclear whether a user is required to waive the right to join a class action lawsuit.
- A company will disclose personal information to law enforcement.
- Unclear whether the company has signed a privacy pledge or received a privacy certification.
11.6: International Laws
- A user's data are subject to International data transfer or jurisdiction laws.
- The company has indicated it is a Data Controller or Data Processor.