How hard is it to address Apple’s in-app deletion requirements and implement privacy compliance?

Transcend released the results of its latest survey of technology decision makers, which assessed their readiness for Apple’s in-app deletion requirements for iOS apps that offer account creation.

Apple in-app deletion requirements

The findings show that 71 percent of companies surveyed are not fully prepared to meet Apple’s June 30, 2022 compliance date. The tech giant’s guidance requires iOS applications that allow account creation to allow for in-app deletion of not just a consumer’s account but deletion of their entire personal data footprint.

Additional findings

  • In order to comply, over two-thirds of companies plan to invest significant engineering time to address Apple’s mandate.
  • Less than a quarter of respondents understand the full scope of Apple’s in-app deletion requirements, despite clarifications from Apple.

“The results of our new research and Apple’s extension of their original January 2022 deadline show just how hard privacy compliance can be to implement. Delivering on privacy should be frictionless. But companies know that truly addressing consumer data rights at scale—beyond bare minimum compliance—is next to impossible without engineering work across data systems. Manual approaches just can’t keep up in a world where consumer data flows so quickly,” said Transcend CEO Ben Brook.

Apple’s directive

In October 2021, Apple updated their App Store Guidelines to require that “all apps that allow for account creation must also allow users to initiate deletion of their account from within the app.”

The company went on to clarify that app providers should “review any laws that may require you to maintain certain types of data, and to make sure your app clearly explains what data your app collects, how it collects that data, all uses of that data, your data retention/deletion policies, and more as described in the guideline. Examples of this type of data include electronic health records, and sales and warranty records. Please also confirm that the app privacy information on your product page is accurate.”

What this means for app developers

Apple has shown increasing scrutiny over app updates and signaled it is not afraid to reject or remove apps from the store when they don’t meet guidelines. Moreover, with consumer privacy initiatives at an all-time high for Apple, developers should have every reason to believe Apple will take non-compliance seriously.

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