What you need to know
- Google is introducing a new policy for Play Store app developers.
- Developers need to provide users an easy way to request account and data deletions.
- User will see the changes in Google Play starting in early 2024.
Google is constantly making changes to the Play Store in order to give users more control over their data. In a new post on its developer blog on Wednesday, the company highlighted a new way that it would empower consumers to remove their accounts and information from an app.
With the new policy, Google is mandating that any app that allows account creation must also provide an easy way for account deletions. This is a process that must be allowed both via the app and online, the latter of which will prevent users from needing to reinstall an app to remove their accounts.
The policy also requires that beyond account deletions, users must also be given a way to request that their associated data be removed from the app. As Google notes, this should happen when users request account deletions, but developers can also give users different choices for data deletion.
Bethel Otuteye, Google's senior director of Android App Safety, says in the blog post that "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)." Developers will also have to disclose which data they have to retain, but these data retention practices must be for certain reasons, such as security, fraud prevention, or regulatory compliance.
This new policy builds on the new Data Safety section that was introduced to the Play Store last year. This is where developers detail their data collection practices to give consumers more context before deciding to download an app. Developers also use this section to point out ways that consumers can delete their data from an app, but the new policy takes it a step further by providing users with a "more consistent way to request them."
Developers need to submit answers to data deletion questions by December 7, and the new data will begin to appear on the Play Store by early 2024. Developers can also request an extension to comply with the new policy by May 31, 2024.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.