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05 April 2023

Giving Users More Transparency and Control Over Account Data

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Posted by Bethel Otuteye, Senior Director, Product Management, Android App Safety

Google Play has launched a number of recent initiatives to help developers build consumer trust by showcasing their apps' privacy and security practices in a way that is simple and easy to understand. Today, we’re building on this work with a new data deletion policy that aims to empower users with greater clarity and control over their in-app data.

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. 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.

While Play’s Data safety section already lets developers highlight their data deletion options, we know that users want an easier and more 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 and create greater trust in your apps and in Google Play more broadly.

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.

Moving image of a accessing account deletion from a mobile device.
Note: Images are examples and subject to change

While we’re excited about the greater control this will give people over their data, we understand it will take time for developers to prepare, especially those without an existing deletion functionality or web presence, which is why we’re sharing information and resources today.

As a first step, we’re asking developers to submit answers to new Data deletion questions in your app’s Data Safety form by December 7. 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.

Developers who need more time can file for an extension in Play Console until May 31, 2024 to comply with the new policy.

For more information on data deletion and other policy changes announced today:

As always, thank you for your continued partnership in making Google Play a safe and trustworthy platform for everyone.