About our policies
We offer certain calling and messaging services (“Communication Services”) for businesses that allow them to engage their customers and users in ways that are interactive, useful, and create business trust. To ensure that our users have a safe and positive experience when using our Communication Services, our acceptable use policy provides a guideline of prohibited and restricted content and practices that you must adhere to when using our Communication Services.
If you encounter content or a business that you believe violates any of the below policies, please report it immediately by emailing email@example.com. Please note that most transactions-related issues or questions (such as refunds for products and services) need to be resolved directly between users and businesses. We will not arbitrate disputes.
Our Communication Services are provided by Google LLC or Jibe Mobile, Inc. (“Jibe”), an affiliate of Google LLC. Jibe and Google LLC are collectively referred to as “Google” in this policy. Google reserves the right to modify these policies at any time. Google will also exercise its sole discretion in the interpretation and enforcement of these policies in conjunction with the Terms of Service applicable to the Communication Service(s) you use (“TOS”). As between the parties, these policies are deemed a part of, and integrated with, the TOS.
Profile and Registration
You agree to use your publicly branded business name (e.g., XYZ Company) in your business profile to help build trust with the users that you and/or your agents communicate with. Your business name, logo, description, and assets shown to users cannot feature content that is mature, offensive or illegal. All of the business information provided to end users (such as business name, branding assets, website and contact information) must be accurate and up-to-date.
If you have a developer and/or aggregator partner who will be managing your agent's use of our Communication Services on your behalf, we require that you must have a direct, contractual relationship with that partner that grants your partner all necessary rights to manage your agent's messaging content and branding assets. Your partner will be subject to applicable TOS and related policies. Google reserves the right to reject any partner that Google has previously found to be in violation of the applicable TOS and related policies.
Privacy and security
Please note that we prohibit collection and use of personal and confidential information, such as national identification number or social security number, payment and financial data (e.g., credit card and bank account numbers), answers to security questions, or passwords outside of a secure flow. When agents are sending such information, they must appropriately obfuscate or mask it (e.g. only displaying the last 4 digits of a credit card number).
Do not use any information about the user's online or offline state for any reason except to directly provide the services to the user, and under no circumstances in a manner that may surprise or disturb a user (including, but not limited to, sending a promotion or advertisement based on them coming back online). Using or sharing user data without specific user consent for the specific use of that data is strictly prohibited.
Illegal content and activities
Keep it legal. You are prohibited from using our Communications Services to engage in illegal activities or facilitate the purchases or sales of any illegal products and services. Examples include, but are not limited to: child sexual abuse imagery, sales of human organs, sales of animal and regulated species, and human trafficking activities. It is your responsibility to comply with the applicable laws and regulations in your respective country.
Abuse of the product
Do not misuse our Communication Services. We want our Communication Services to be useful, relevant, and safe for users, so we do not allow the following:
- Phishing scams
- Attempting to trick other users or third parties for unfair advantages or financial gain
- Content or behavior that circumvents, harms, or interferes with the operation of other agents, our Communication Services networks, servers, or other infrastructure
- Distribution of malicious or unwanted software that violates Google's Unwanted software policy
- Practices that violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines
Misrepresentation and Impersonation
Users should not feel misled by our Communication Services. You should be upfront, honest, and provide them with the information that they need to make informed decisions. Your use of our Communication Services must represent you and your products or services in a way that is accurate, realistic, and truthful. You may not use our services to mislead or confuse users by pretending to be someone else or pretending to represent an organization you do not represent.
Message content must not:
- Be misleading (e.g., making false statement about the business or qualification, falsely affiliating with other individuals, organizations, products and services, or making false claims which position improbable results are likely outcomes even if there are technically feasible)
- Conceal or misstate information about the business, product, or service (e.g., using a false identity, business name or contact information, offers for products or services that are normally offered for free or falsely affiliating with a political organization)
- Contain information which is not clearly relevant to the actual product or service on the destination page
- Fail to disclose the payment model and full expense that a user will bear (e.g., shipping costs and other billing related information; recurring subscription costs)
- Prompt users to initiate a purchase, download, or other commitment without first providing all relevant information and obtaining the user's explicit consent
- Feature content that are provably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in civic, electoral or democratic processes such as census participation or public voting procedures
User notice and consent
You must first provide end users with notice and obtain consent prior to soliciting any end user. In addition to the requirements in the applicable TOS and unless expressly prohibited by applicable laws, we recommend that your notice and consent include the following:
Notice to users should make clear how their data (whether identifiable or pseudonymous data) is used and/or processed through the entire data lifecycle. For example, to send a business-to-consumer message, the user should be informed that you intend to use their phone number to send them messages about a specific product, service, or topic in addition to obtaining consent in accordance with the requirements below.
Acceptable consent should comply with the following parameters:
Informed. To obtain informed consent, notice should be transparent, as described above.
Layered. Where necessary, you should take a layered approach to your consent, placing key information in the first layer, with supplemental information in the second layer.
- The first layer should include information that has the most impact on the user and notice about any processing that may surprise the user (such as the identity of the data controller(s), the purpose(s) of the proposed data processing, the type(s) of data collected / used, and the mechanism to withdraw consent).
- The second layer should be easily accessible (e.g., “learn more about…” link) and provides supplemental information that would be useful to the user.
Framed as a free choice:
- Consent options should be presented equally.
- Core aspects of a product should not be blocked if a user does not agree. Declining should not have a significant negative consequence.
- It should be clear to users that consent is optional.
Unambiguous and specific:
- Use simple, concrete language.
- Obtain clear, affirmative indication of consent form the user (e.g., “I agree” or “I consent”, “Decline” or “Refuse”).
- Request consent for specific purpose(s) and clearly separate requests for consent from information about other things.
Revocable: Include a specific destination that allows users to withdraw their consent at any time.
- Give users a simple means to revoke consent. This means making revocation easily accessible and possible for the user to revoke their consent via the relevant Communication Product (e.g., replying “STOP” to a SMS or RBM message).
Recorded: Each instance of consent (and consent withdrawal) record should be centralized and auditable.
Regional variation: Certain jurisdictions may include variations or additional requirements to notice and consent. It is your responsibility to ensure that your notice and consent practices comply with all applicable laws.
We may request documentation or records related to your notice and consent practices from time to time, which you must provide to us within a reasonable timeframe. If we reasonably determine that your consent and notice practices are insufficient (even if such practices comply with applicable laws), we may require that you implement additional measures to ensure that the user has clear notice and can provide informed consent and/or revocation of such consent, which you must promptly implement.
Don’t spam users. Examples of spam include unsolicited promotional or commercial content, unwanted, repetitive, or nonsensical content, or any content or agent behavior that results in user spam reporting. Please keep in mind that a user's definition of spam may differ from yours, so please exercise judgment when sending messages to one or multiple users, even if they've elected to receive messages from you in the past. To ensure that you do not spam or facilitate transmission of spam, please follow the guidelines below:
- Ensure that you only communicate with users who have explicitly opted into receiving your messages.
- Do not send unsolicited content or aggressively message users.
- Do not sell, purchase, exchange, or distribute user phone numbers to a third party without the user’s consent.
- Abide by any applicable local regulations, such as specific opt-in requirements before messaging mobile subscribers, record keeping, and opt-out requirements.
Editorial and technical requirements
To facilitate high quality user experiences, you must ensure that your content conforms with editorial and professional standards, including:
- Grammar, spelling, and spacing: all business content must use commonly accepted spelling, basic grammar, and be written in logical sentence form.
- Symbols: no excessive use of numbers, letters, punctuation marks, or emoticons
- Capitalization: business content must not contain excessive or incorrect capitalization
- Gimmicky text: business content must avoid repetition of words, phrases, and punctuation and should not include any unnecessary or irrelevant text.
- Image and video quality: image and video should not be low quality, unclear, or appear sideways or upside down
Our content policies are categorized into two groups: Prohibited content and Restricted content, each as detailed below. You may not operate, feature, or otherwise engage with Prohibited content via our Communication Services. You may not (a) exclusively promote products or services in Restricted content areas via our Communication Services or (b) send promotional updates, advertisement, or commercial content that exclusively promote the Restricted content. You may promote products or services in Restricted content areas via our Communication Services if such promotion takes place as part of promoting a wider set of products or services. Always remember to comply with your local laws and regulations.
Our Communication Services do not support unlawful, offensive, or inappropriate content. This is a non-exhaustive list of content we do not allow:
- Counterfeit goods
Products described as knock off, replica, imitation, clone, faux, fake, mirror image, or similar terms when referring to a brand name in an attempt to pass themselves off as genuine products of the brand owner.
- Dangerous products or services
Products or services that cause damage, harm, or injury. These include, but are not limited to, illegal drugs, equipment to facilitate illegal drug use, explosive materials, fireworks, weapons, instructions for making explosives, or other harmful products.
- Products, services, or content that enable dishonest behaviors
Products, services, or content that help users to mislead others such as fake documents, aids to pass drug tests, paper-writing or exam taking services; products, services, or instruction that enable unauthorized access to systems, devices, or property.
- Dangerous or derogatory content
Content, products or services that:
- Incite hatred against, promote discrimination of, or disparage an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization
- Harass, intimidate, or bully an individual or group of individuals
- Threaten or advocate for harm on oneself or others
- Seek to exploit others (e.g. blackmail, soliciting, or promoting dowries)
- Inappropriate use of flags, national emblems, or religious icons and imagery
- Shocking content
Content, products or services that:
- Contain violent language, gruesome or disgusting imagery, or graphic images or accounts of physical trauma
- Contain gratuitous portrayal of bodily fluids or waste
- Contain obscene or profane language
- Likely cause shock, scare, or disgust
- Capitalizing on sensitive events
Content which may be deemed as capitalizing on or lacking reasonable sensitivity towards a natural disaster, conflict, death, political violence, or other tragic event with no discernible benefit to the victims.
- Animal cruelty
Content that promotes or depicts cruelty or gratuitous violence towards animals, or which may be interpreted as trading in or selling products derived from threatened or extinct species.
- Adult content
Content, products, or services that are sexually explicit, sexually suggestive, or promote sexual themes, activities or escort services. Content promoting the sexual exploitation of minors (such as child sexual abuse imagery) is strictly prohibited.
Content, products or services that promote sales or consumption of tobacco, products containing tobacco, component parts of tobacco or products designed to simulate smoking behaviors.
- Political content
Business to consumer messages (e.g., RCS Business Messages) may not include content or services related to political campaigns such as those that promote or undermine a political figure or party, conduct opinion polls or political surveys, discuss election integrity, or predict election results. Any other political content that is not prohibited by this policy must comply with local laws and regulations.
- Unauthorized content
Content, products, or services that are unauthorized to use copyrighted or trademarked content, or other legally prohibited content.
The policies below cover content that is sometimes legally or culturally sensitive. Our Communication Services can be a powerful way to reach customers, but in sensitive areas, it’s important to avoid showing this content when and where they might be inappropriate.
For that reason, we allow the promotion of the content below, but on a limited basis. These promotions may not show to every user in every location, and advertisers may need to meet additional requirements before their ads are eligible to run. Note that not all ad products, features, or networks are able to support this restricted content.
Content, products, or services that promote branding, sales, promotion, or consumption of alcoholic beverages. Content that promotes irresponsible alcohol consumption is prohibited.
- Gambling and games
Gambling related content, products, or services, which include but are not limited to legal gambling activities such as: physical casinos, offline and online gambling activities, national or private lottery, promotional offers for gambling sites, and social casino games.
- Healthcare related products and services
Content, products, or services that promote branding or sales of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, medical suppliers, online pharmacy, unapproved substances, clinical trial recruitment, HIV home test, abortion, birth control products, and miracle cures products or services.
What happens if you violate our policies
Depending on the type of violation of our policies, Google may respond in several different ways. In some cases, we may allow an appeals process for the agents to fix the policy violation. If you believe that your access and/or your account has been suspended in error, you may request an appeal by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is a list of various ways we enforce policies, without limiting Google's rights under applicable law.
We may suspend businesses or other entities from using the Communication Service(s) if they violate our product policies. This means that the suspended business or entity can no longer use Communication Service(s) until the problem is fixed and has passed a policy review.
We may suspend your account if you have several violations or a serious violation. If this happens, the relevant Communication Services service(s) will be disabled. Any related accounts, including your new account, may be automatically suspended. We may report any illegal activity if required by law.
Business-to-consumer messaging requirements
The following requirements apply to business-to-consumer messages (e.g., RCS Business Messaging).
Agent Use Case Category & Content Declaration
When creating an agent(s), you must use the legal business name (e.g., XYZ Company LLC) of the brand that owns the such agent(s).
You must ensure that the agent use case category and associated content are accurately described upon registration and launch in accordance with the applicable requirements in the Communication Services documentation (including the RBM Developer Documentation), which may be modified by Google from time to time.
All agents must comply with a user’s request to opt-out (e.g., “STOP” message or equivalent in agent’s language) and be able to promptly process and adhere to users’ request to opt-out.
You will cooperate with Google to ensure compliance with the applicable TOS and related policies in accordance with applicable law.
Agent Requirements & Content Changes
Agents must comply with the requirements provided in the Communication Services documentation. Failure to comply with the requirements in the Communication Services documentation will be considered a material violation of this policy.
You may change the content of a registered agent throughout its lifecycle if the change is consistent with the registered agent use case category and user consent. However, if you make changes, you must first notify the approver in writing (email to suffice) for reapproval (at the approver’s sole option), of all changes to an agent (including the updated versions of consent validity, agent information, and content) before such changes may be implemented.
You may only have one agent delivering the same content (e.g., promotional campaign for XYZ Company’s new product) to the same user, even if you use multiple developers. It is your brands’ and developers’ responsibility to adhere to brand and agent level business rules described in the Communication Services documentation.
In addition to the other remedies Google may pursue, we may immediately suspend an agent if we become aware of a violation of our Communication Services policies. The agent may be reactivated if you establish the agent’s compliance with our Communication Services policies within a reasonable timeframe of such agent being noncompliant. If you have a suspended agent(s), Google will not approve any additional agent(s) until all suspended agent(s) are corrected (according to the Communication Services documentation and any other requirements provided by Google) and reactivated by Google following such correction. If the partner fails to correct a noncompliant agent(s) within the required timeframe and/or has multiple agent noncompliance violations, we may immediately suspend your account and all of their agents without any warning.