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Skill Rules & Policies

This document describes the guidelines and requirements used by Microsoft to review your skill submission to ensure a diverse catalog of high-quality, engaging skills for use in Microsoft’s Bing Visual Search Developer Platform service and other Microsoft products and services to customers worldwide. After your skill is reviewed and approved, you may make it publicly available through Microsoft products and services.

1. Guiding Principles

Adhering to these guidelines should help you make choices that enhance your skill’s appeal and audience.

1.1 Don’t mislead the user

Don’t present your skill or your skill’s capabilities in a misleading way. You should present your skill to users in such a way that helps them understand what it does and how to use it. Microsoft will not publish, and may take down, skills that purposefully attempt to mislead users.

1.2 Don’t attempt to cheat customers, the system, or the ecosystem.

There is no place in the Microsoft product ecosystem for fraudulent, manipulative, or malicious skills.

2. General Guidelines

2.1 Distinct function and accurate representation

2.1.1

All aspects of your skill should accurately describe the functions, features, and any important limitations of your skill, including required or supported input devices.

2.1.2

Your skill may not use a name or icon similar to that of other skills, and may not claim to be from a company, government body, or other entity if you do not have permission to make that representation.

2.1.3

Your skill must be fully functional and must provide appropriate functionality.

2.1.4

Your skill submission keywords may not exceed seven unique terms and should be relevant to your skill.

2.1.5

Your skill submission must use distinct and informative description and other related metadata like category descriptors.

2.1.6

The skill profile image, name, keywords, and description must NOT:

1. Be offensive or explicit.

2. Include third party trademarks, service marks, or logos that you do not have the rights to use.

3. Impersonate or imply endorsement by a third party that has not endorsed your skill.

4. Use names unrelated to the skill.

5. Use Microsoft logos, trademarks, or service marks unless you have permission from Microsoft.

6. Be too long or verbose. The description should be 8-10 words.

2.1.7

Skill names and titles should not include "Microsoft", "Windows", "Bing", or any other trademarks of Microsoft.

2.1.8

Invocation names and skill names (title) should not consist of proper nouns, names, or places unless you have exclusive rights to use that name in a commercial application.

2.1.9

Although Microsoft will review your skill to confirm it meets certain minimum requirements prior to publication, you are solely responsible for: (1) your skill; (2) its content and actions; (3) compliance with all applicable laws; and (4) compliance with the Microsoft Bing Visual Search Developer Platform Developer Program Agreement (the agreement you agreed to when you signed up in the Developer Portal the first time), Privacy Statement, Bing Visual Search Developer Platform Developer Program. Microsoft's review and publication of your skill is not an endorsement of your skill.

2.2 Security

Your skill must not jeopardize or compromise user security, or the security or functionality of Microsoft services, the device the Microsoft services are offered on, system, or related systems.

2.2.1

Your skill must not attempt to change or extend the described functionality through any form of dynamic inclusion of code. Your skill’s associated service should not, for example, prompt a user to download a remote executable and subsequently execute that executable in a manner that is not consistent with the described functionality.

2.2.2

Your skill’s service must not contain or enable malware as defined by the Microsoft criteria for Unwanted and Malicious Software.

2.2.3

Your skill must operate as described in its description, profile, terms of service, and privacy policy. You must notify Microsoft in advance if you make any substantial, material changes to your skill or related service. Such changes will require a review. Microsoft has the right, in its sole discretion, to intermittently review skills in the skill store and remove skills from the skill store without notice.

2.3 Skill is Testable

The skill must be testable. If it is not possible to test your skill for any reason, including, but not limited to, the items below, your skill may fail this requirement.

2.3.1

If your skill should not require login credentials.

2.3.2

If your skill requires access to a server, the server must be functional.

2.4 Usability

2.4.1

Your skill should provide an appropriate experience across all endpoints, even when that endpoint does not support rich, visual interaction. If your skill offers experiences that make no sense on limited-capability devices, then it should provide a graceful failure experience on these types of devices.

2.4.2

Your skill should be responsive. The user should not have to wait long periods of time for your skill to respond to an interaction. A good guideline is that responses should take no longer than 3 seconds to generate.

2.4.3

Skills must not include advertisements. Some exceptions apply. You should work directly with Microsoft if you intend to add advertisements in your skill experience.

2.5 Personal Information

2.5.1

The Bing Visual Search Developer Platform may enable you to receive personal information from users, with the user’s consent. Microsoft takes privacy very seriously. For this reason, all skills must maintain a privacy policy. You must provide users with access to your privacy policy. Your privacy policy must inform users of the personal information accessed, collected, or transmitted by your skill; how that information is used, stored, and secured; and indicate the types of parties to whom it is disclosed. It must describe the controls that users have over the use and sharing of their information, how they may access their information, and it must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Your privacy policy must be kept up-to-date as you add new features and functionality to your skill.

2.5.2

You may publish the personal information of customers of your skill to an outside service or third party through your skill or its metadata only after obtaining opt-in consent from those customers. Opt-in consent means the customer gives their express permission in the skill's user interface for the requested activity, after you have:

• Clearly described to the customer how the information will be accessed, used, or shared, indicating the types of parties to whom it is disclosed, and

• Provided the customer a mechanism in the skillinterface through which they can later rescind this permission and opt-out.

2.5.3

If you publish a person’s personal information to an outside service or third party through your skill or its metadata, but the person whose information is being shared is not a customer of your skill, you must obtain express written consent to publish that personal information, and you must permit the person whose information is shared to withdraw that consent at any time. If your skill provides a customer with access to another person’s personal information, this requirement would also apply.

2.5.4

If your skill collects, stores, or transmits personal information, it must do so securely, by using modern cryptography methods.

2.5.5

Your skill must not collect, store, or transmit highly sensitive personal information, such as health or financial data.

2.5.6

Your skill must not collect, store, or transmit personal information unrelated to its primary purpose, without first obtaining express user consent.

2.5.7

If your skill receives user data (such as images), Microsoft will get the user’s permission to share this information with your skill prior to the user running your skill for the first time. You cannot store or retain this data unless you have consent from the user, and you provide the user a way to revoke consent and request that you remove or delete this data.

2.5.8

Your skill must follow the following guidelines when collecting personal information:

Data Type Guideline
Personal and Identifying Information (such as images) You may use information provided by Microsoft only to fulfill the user’s request to display an image with your skill, and then you must immediately delete such information. Your skill may not collect any other personal information through any Microsoft product or service (but you may collect data through your own services or apps that the skill uses, within the terms of your own end-user agreements).

2.5.9

Your skill should not request more data from users than is necessary to fulfill the request.

2.5.10

Your skill must not share or sell user data collected through skills unless the user has granted you rights to do so and is educated on how to revoke these rights.

2.5.11

All skills require a privacy policy and a terms of service.

Your privacy policy, together with any disclosures or consents you provide within your skill, must disclose how your skill collects, uses, and shares user data, including the types of parties with whom it's shared. You must limit your use of the data to the activities described in the disclosures. It must also describe the controls that users have over the use and sharing of their information and how they may access their information, and it must comply with applicable laws and regulations.

2.6 Other Guidelines

2.6.1

Keep your Microsoft account email active because Microsoft uses it for all correspondence.

2.6.2

Your skill must not contact or attempt to integrate emergency services or support.

2.6.3

Your skill must not clone or duplicate another skill.

2.6.4

You must have a way for your users to report abuse to you (a contact email address will suffice), and for you to handle access and deletion requests (for example, someone deletes their account and wants all their data deleted as well).

3. Content Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to your skills made available to users. Content means your skill name, publisher name, skill icon, skill description, the images, sounds, videos and text contained in the skill, the tiles, notifications, error messages exposed through your skill, and anything that’s delivered from a server or that your skill connects to. Because skills are used around the world, these requirements will be interpreted and applied in the context of regional and cultural norms. Metadata and other content you submit to accompany your skill may contain only content that would merit a Entertainment Software Rating Board rating of PEGI 12, ESRB EVERYONE 10, or lower.

3.1 Content Including Names, Logos, Original and Third Party

All content in your skill and associated metadata must be either originally created by the skill provider, appropriately licensed from the third-party rights holder, used as permitted by the rights holder, or used as otherwise permitted by law.

3.2 Harm to Others

Your skill must not contain any content that facilitates or glamorizes extreme or gratuitous violence, human rights violations, or the creation or illegal use of weapons against a person or animal in the real world.

3.3 Defamatory, Libelous, Slanderous and Threatening

Your skill must not contain any content that is defamatory, libelous, slanderous, or threatening.

3.4 Offensive Content

Your skill and associated metadata must not contain potentially sensitive or offensive content. Content may be considered sensitive or offensive in certain countries/regions because of local laws or cultural norms. In addition, your skill and associated metadata must not contain content that advocates discrimination, hatred, or violence based on considerations of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, status as a veteran, or membership in any other social group.

3.5 Alcohol, Tobacco, Weapons and Drugs

Your skill must not contain any content that facilitates or glamorizes excessive or irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs, or weapons.

3.6 Adult Content

Your skill must not contain or display content that a reasonable person would consider pornographic or sexually explicit, or content that drives traffic to pornography sites.

3.7 Illegal Activity

Your skill must not contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates, or glamorizes illegal activity in the real world.

You are solely responsible for determining the legality of your skill in its targeted locale. Microsoft will remove any skills determined to be unlawful in locations where they are published.

3.8 Excessive Profanity and Inappropriate Content

Your skill must not contain excessive or gratuitous profanity, or contain or display content that a reasonable person would consider to be obscene.

3.9 Gambling

Your skill must not facilitate or promote online gambling services, including but not limited to, online casinos, sports betting, lotteries, or games of skill if they offer prizes of cash or other value.

3.10 Spam

Your skill must not spam users in any way. Spam may include skills whose primary purpose is to drive traffic to a website or app rather than provide a useful function to the user, or skills that push content to a user's mobile devices or email without the user's permission.

3.11 Country/Region Specific Requirements

Skills may not contain content that is offensive in any country/region that it targets. Content may be considered offensive in certain countries/regions because of local laws or cultural norms. The skills kit is only supported in the US at this time.

3.12 Promotion

Skills must not directly or indirectly engage in or benefit from promotional practices that are deceptive or harmful to users or the developer ecosystem. This includes, for example, using deceptive ads on websites, apps, or other properties, including notifications that are similar to system notifications and alerts; engaging in unsolicited promotion via SMS services; offering compensation for enabling skills, including money, digital or physical goods.

3.14 Termination

If these guidelines are not followed, Microsoft reserves the right, at its sole discretion and without any obligation to do so, to review and remove content and to terminate your skill and your participation in the Program.