Google forces Android apps to delete user accounts

Google is introducing a new rule for the Play Store that will force apps to provide an “easily identifiable option” for Delete user account present themselves in the program or on the web.

The search engine giant explains in a new blog post that the change will provide more transparency and control over users’ in-app data. The rule applies to apps that allow users to create accounts, and Google plans to add a field to the Play Store that directs users to a web address to delete their account. (like the animation below)

Delete user data along with their account

There are a few things about this policy that app developers should be aware of. Google makes it clear that allowing users to temporarily deactivate or block their account is not sufficient to meet this requirement, meaning that developers must also delete users’ data along with their account, unless there are “legitimate reasons.” exist to preserve them. Developers should also specify how to store user data.

Given that this is a fairly big change that could force some developers to do things, Google won’t be rolling it out right away. The company says that in a “first phase” it’s asking developers to add more information about their data removal practices using Google’s existing data safety form by Dec. 7.

However, Google is not the first company to implement this type of requirement. Apple also announced a similar policy in October 2021, which was implemented from June 2022. The App Store Act has similar requirements and warnings, although Apple has not included in its program the requirement to delete users’ accounts over the web.

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