Apple's App Store lets you preview features of a published app via screenshots, images, and even videos.

In the case of a social media app, those functionalities can only be shown through including pictures, account names and some account data.

Is it legal to have in such media, faces and data of actual people subscribed to said social media? Or, should the company ask for permission to each of the accounts that would be shown?

UPDATE: The nature of the question is whether using this data, without asking, is legal or not. In the described scenario might not be possible to ask for permission to each user and the only alternative would be to use dummy data. Moreover it is important to note that screenshots are a way of describing what an app does, so the exposed data would not be in a text format like a website but rather in some kind of view only mode (pictures or video)

1 Answer 1


Depends on the terms and conditions of the social media platform.

In order to avoid public controversy, although some may legally have the right to use your content, in practice, most reputable companies would ask for permission first, or create dummy accounts to avoid any legal issues.

Facebook will ask for your permission first.

We do not share information that personally identifies you (personally identifiable information is information like name or email address that can by itself be used to contact you or identifies who you are) with advertising, measurement or analytics partners unless you give us permission.

When you post on Twitter, you retain your rights to the content. However

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). This license authorizes us to make your Content available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same. You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals for the syndication, broadcast, distribution, promotion or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use. Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies, organizations or individuals, may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the Services.

Stack Exchange uses the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. This means Stack Exchange has the right to share and adapt user content as long as the content creator is attributed and the derivative content is licensed under the same license.

You agree that all Subscriber Content that You contribute to the Network is perpetually and irrevocably licensed to Stack Exchange under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license. You grant Stack Exchange the perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use, copy, cache, publish, display, distribute, modify, create derivative works and store such Subscriber Content and, except as otherwise set forth herein, to allow others to do so in any medium now known or hereinafter developed (“Content License”) in order to provide the Services, even if such Subscriber Content has been contributed and subsequently removed by You.

  • I wonder what apple developer user agreement says about this: lets say I want to publish an image of stack exchange users, who is the content creator that has to license the images with the same creative commons? Apple or the company publishing the App in the apple store? and if it is (logically) the latter, how can this be done? nothing can be written in the app store.
    – Edoardo
    Aug 28, 2017 at 19:41

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