Google Play has recently introduced several initiatives that enable developers to build consumer trust by ensuring their apps’ privacy and security practices are simple and easy to understand.
In line with the new policies, Google Play Store will soon mandate all app developers to incorporate a feature allowing users to delete their accounts or data created within the app or on a website. This option must be conveniently accessible within the app and also on the web, without necessitating the reinstallation of the app.
At the moment, the Play Store’s Data Safety segment solely permits developers to state that “You can request that data be deleted.”
However, moving forward, any app that enables users to create an account must also furnish the option to request account deletion. To guarantee adherence, developers must submit their links to Google, which will be exhibited directly in the app listing on the Play Store.
“As the new policy states, when you fulfill a request to delete an account, you must also delete the data associated with that account. 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,” it said in a statement on its website.
Developers must meet the new regulations by submitting responses to the Google Data Safety form by December 7, 2023. If they encounter difficulties, developers may seek an extension to allow them extra time to comply with the new policy until May 31, 2024.
Google underscores that the temporary deactivation or disabling of an account does not meet the criteria for deletion and is thus non-compliant with the new guidelines. These updates benefit users by obliging developers to erase their data or face repercussions with their Google developer account. Additionally, it reduces the likelihood of data being compromised in the event of a developer’s hack.