Google has announced a new Google Play Store data deletion policy that will require Android developers to provide users with an online option to delete their accounts and in-app data.
According to the new policy, starting in early 2024, Google Play users will have better control over their data since every store listing will display links in the “Data deletion” area, allowing them to ask for their accounts and/or data to be deleted.
Developers who provide an in-app account deletion experience will also have to offer a web-based option since Google wants to allow users to delete their data without reinstalling each app.
“As the new policy states, when you fulfill a request to delete an account, you must also delete the data associated with that account,” Google explained.
“The feature also gives developers a way to provide more choice: users who may not want to delete their account entirely can choose to delete other data only where applicable (such as activity history, images, or videos).
“For developers that need to retain certain data for legitimate reasons such as security, fraud prevention, or regulatory compliance, you must clearly disclose those data retention practices.”
The new Play Store rule will be going into full effect next year, with the developers first being required to share more details on their data deletion practices by December 7.
Starting in early 2024, users will be able to see the submitted data deletion information in the apps’ store listings, including refreshed data deletion badges in the new Data deletion area, as well as the Data safety section.
Those who do not file the required deletion practice info in time will no longer be able to publish new apps or release app updates.
While developers can ask for an extension via the Play Console until May 31, 2024, after this date, non-compliant apps may face removal from Google Play.
Google’s announcement follows a similar move made by Apple, which, starting June 2022, has been requiring developers of apps with an account creation option to also provide the users with a way to delete their accounts from within the apps.