Google has announced that starting early next year, Android apps on the Play Store will be required to provide an option for users to delete their accounts and associated data both within the app and on the web. This move follows a similar policy implemented by Apple in June 2022 for apps on the App Store. The aim of this policy is to educate users about their control over their data and foster trust in apps and the Play Store.
Developers will need to answer questions about data deletion in their app’s safety form by December 7th, and store listings will start showing the changes in early 2024. The policy also allows users to delete certain data, such as uploaded content, without having to erase their entire account. Furthermore, the web requirement ensures that users won’t have to reinstall an app to delete their information.
The new policy also requires developers to delete user data from their servers when an account is deleted, unless there are legitimate reasons to retain it, such as for security or regulatory compliance. Developers must also specify if they need to retain certain data for specific reasons in the app. In addition, developers will be able to apply for an extension until May 31st, 2024, through the Google Play console if they need more time to implement the policy.
Google will update the Data Safety section on the Play Store to reflect the data controls available to users, and apps that have completed the required forms and modified their code to allow account deletion will display data deletion badges on Google Play. The company aims to provide users with greater clarity and control over their in-app data by making the option to delete accounts readily discoverable both within the app and on the web.
Apple implemented a similar policy in October 2021 for apps on the App Store, which went into effect in June 2022. Both Google and Apple are taking steps to address privacy concerns and prevent data breaches by making it easier for users to delete their accounts and associated data when they stop using an app.