In an effort to enhance transparency and provide users with greater control over their account data, Google announced on Wednesday a new policy requiring all apps listed on Google Play to offer account deletion options both in-app and on the web by December 7, 2023. This policy aims to give users the ability to control their own data retention methods, and developers are required to delete the data upon receiving an account deletion request.
The new policy primarily affects apps and games that require registration or login. Developers are required to provide an account deletion button within the app and on a webpage, allowing users who have already uninstalled the app to submit a deletion request without having to reinstall it.
According to the new policy, developers must delete the account and associated data upon receiving a deletion request. Additionally, the policy provides an extra feature for developers, allowing users to choose to delete their data while retaining their account.
If developers need to retain data for legitimate reasons, such as security, fraud prevention, or compliance requirements, they must clearly disclose their data retention practices, informing users why the data needs to be retained and how long it will take before it is deleted.
Google understands that implementing the deletion feature and developing a web-based deletion option may require time. Therefore, if developers cannot complete the deletion feature by December 7, they can apply for a deadline extension in the Google Play management center, with the final deadline set for May 31, 2024.
Non-compliance with the new policy may result in consequences, including app removal or update restrictions, as it would be considered a violation of the developer policy.
However, it is worth noting that this policy primarily deters honest developers, as it would be difficult for Google and users to know whether developers have actually deleted the data from their servers.