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Google's New Rule Makes it Easier to Delete Your App Accounts

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read
Google Playstore logo displayed on a phone screen
Featured | sdx15 / Shutterstock

Last year, Google introduced a regulation for the Google Play Store concerning apps that enable account creation.

Under this regulation, developers must guarantee that users can delete their app accounts both within the app and via the web if the app offers account creation functionality.

Compliance with this rule is crucial for app retention on the Play Store. This policy has now been put into effect, impacting both developers and users.

Also read: Some Google Searches May Soon Require Payment Before Answers

Data Deletion Badges Go Live

Android Authority contributor Assemble Debug recently discovered a new feature on the Google Play Store.

A badge labeled "Account deletion available" has started appearing in the Data Safety section of app listings.

Screenshot of interface in Playstore

Apps on Playstore are now labled with the "account deletion available" option | Playstore Screenshot

Since December 2023, Google has strongly encouraged developers to include information about account deletion in their app listings.

Developers were given the option to ask for an extension until May 31, 2024.

After this date, non-compliant apps may be subject to "additional enforcement actions," potentially including removal from the Play Store.

Google requires developers to include options for users to delete their data and accounts within their apps and on the web. This allows users to request the deletion of their data or accounts without having to reinstall the app if they had previously uninstalled it.

However, developers may need to retain certain data for legitimate reasons, such as regulatory compliance, which they must disclose as part of their data retention practices.

This policy from Google is similar to one that Apple implemented in June 2022, which also requires apps on its App Store to provide options for users to create and delete accounts within the app.

Implications of Google's Policy

Following in Apple's Footsteps

Google is following in Apple's footsteps by implementing a policy requiring apps to offer account creation and support account deletion within the app.

Apple had made a similar decision to give users more control over their data, stating that "Providing this capability gives people more control of the personal data they've shared."

Google's policy aims to do the same by giving users more control over their data and account management.

Enhancing User Control

Google's policy facilitates account deletion and offers users more options regarding what data they want to delete.

Users can delete specific data, such as activity history, images, and videos, rather than their entire account. 

Additionally, developers must transparently disclose why they may retain specific data after account closure, for fraud protection or regulatory compliance purposes.

Preparation and Implementation

Although Google has started implementing the policy, users may wait to see its full effects.

The company aims to give developers time to adapt to the new requirements, especially those who still need to get a profile deletion function in their apps or on their websites. 

In March, Google's spokesperson, Otuteye, highlighted a series of measures that Google aims to implement this year to ensure the security of Android apps, data, and users.

Otuteye also detailed various steps the company plans to take to strengthen app security and user privacy. These measures involve giving users more control over data sharing and restricting the use of cross-app identifiers by digital advertisers.