Google Mandates Data Deletion Policy For Android Apps

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Google has unveiled a new policy for Android apps that enable account creation. The rule mandates such apps to provide users with an option to delete both the accounts and the data associated with them.

Describing the new feature in a blog post published on Wednesday, Bethel Otuteye, senior director of product management at Android App Safety, said it aims to empower users with greater control over in-app data.

Read more on Android privacy here: Google Launches Privacy Sandbox Beta on Android 13 Devices

“For apps that enable app account creation, developers will soon need to provide an option to initiate account and data deletion from within the app and online,” Otuteye wrote.

“This web requirement, which you will link in your Data safety form, is especially important so that a user can request account and data deletion without having to reinstall an app.”

The executive clarified that while Google Play’s data safety section already allows developers to showcase data deletion options, the company aims to provide users with a more accessible and consistent way to request them.

“By creating a more intuitive experience with this policy, we hope to better educate our shared users on the data controls available to them,” explained Otuteye.

The new policy means that when developers fulfil a request to delete an account, they must also delete the associated data.

The feature will also enable users not wishing to delete their entire account to only remove some data types like images, videos or history.

Otuteye clarified that developers needing to retain specific data for legitimate reasons (e.g., security, fraud prevention or regulatory compliance) would have to disclose those data retention practices.

“We’re asking developers to submit answers to new Data deletion questions in your app’s Data Safety form by December 7,” reads the post.

Developers requiring more time can request an extension in Play Console until May 31 2024.

“Early next year, Google Play users will begin to see reflected changes in your app’s store listing, including the refreshed data deletion badge in the Data safety section and the new Data deletion area,” Otuteye concluded.

The new feature comes a couple of months after Mozilla published a report questioning the accuracy of the Play Store’s new Data Safety labels.

Editorial image credit: quietbits /

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