Google will simplify account deletion for users of Android applications
In an effort to provide more transparency and control over their data, Google is implementing a new data deletion policy for Android apps that allow account creation to also offer users the option to delete their accounts.
Developers will soon need to provide an option to initiate account and data deletion from within the app, according to Bethel Otuteye, senior director of product management for Android App Safety.
The user must be able to request account and data deletion without having to reinstall an app, which is why the web requirement to which you will link in your data safety form is crucial.
The goal, according to the search engine behemoth, is to have a “readily discoverable option” to initiate an app account deletion process from both within and outside of an app.
Users must have access to both an in-app path and a web link resource to request the deletion of their app accounts and related data, according to developers.. If a user submits such a request, app developers must delete all data associated with that account.
Furthermore, instead of deleting their accounts entirely, users may be given the option to delete only portions of the data (e.g., activity history, images, or videos).
Developers who want to keep certain data for legitimate reasons like security, fraud prevention, or regulatory compliance must disclose such data retention practices up front.
Google specifically notes that “temporary account deactivation, deactivating, or ‘freezing’ of the app account does not constitute as account deletion.”
The new policy is set to take effect early next year, with developers having until December 7, 2023, to respond to new Data deletion questions in the app’s Data safety form. Developers have until May 31, 2024, to petition for an extension.
The change also aligns Android with Apple’s iOS and iPadOS operating systems, which implemented a similar policy on June 30, 2022. Users do not necessarily need to have the option to delete their accounts online.
If a developer disregards the regulations, it is unclear if any enforcement measures will be done. Mozilla criticised Google earlier this year after identifying notable inconsistencies between the privacy policies of the top 20 free apps and the data they self-reported in the Play Store.
Author: Varsha Kumari