Google Play apps will allow users to initiate in-app account deletion

Google Play will be pushing Android app developers to allow users to delete their account and associated data from within the app.

Users will also be given the option to only delete data where applicable, as some data needs to be retained for security, fraud prevention, or regulatory reasons.

Google’s new app account and data deletion requirements

Google Play has introduced new app account deletion requirements and added Data deletion questions to developers’ Data safety form.

“If your app allows users to create an account from within your app, then it must also allow users to request for their account to be deleted,” Google explained to developers the rationale behind the move.

“Users must have a readily discoverable option to initiate app account deletion from within your app and outside of your app (e.g., by visiting your website). A link to this web resource must be entered in the designated URL form field within Play Console.”

The latter option will ensure that users have a way to delete their data and accounts from any app, even if they’ve already deleted the app.

app account deletion

Users can request the deletion of their account through a link in the app’s Google Play listing (Source: Google)

Developers are required to answer the Data deletion questions by December 7, 2023. If they don’t, or if the answers are incomplete or did not address specific issues, developers will no longer be able to publish a new app or app update. (Though, there is the possibility to request an extension for this action until May 31, 2024.)

Developers who’ve complied with the requirement will start seeing the new data deletion badge and Data deletion area on their app’s store listing early next year. This will also provide users with an easy way to identify apps that prioritize user privacy and allow them to easily delete their data and accounts from those apps.

The final deadline for developers to comply with these new requirements is May 31, 2024. Those who fail to comply may get their apps yanked from Google Play.

Following in Apple’s footsteps

“While we’re excited about the greater control this will give people over their data, we understand it will take time for developers to prepare, especially those without an existing deletion functionality or web presence, which is why we’re sharing information and resources today,“ said Bethel Otuteye, senior director of product management, Android App Safety.

With the new account deletion requirements, Google is following in Apple’s footsteps: in June 2022, the Cupertino-based company similarly forced developers offering their apps in the App Store to let users initiate deletion of their account within the app.

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