Apple has always placed a high priority on security to establish a channel of trust between customers and app developers. As a part of its effort to slake consumers’ appetite for privacy and security in Android smartphones, Google has chosen to step up and embrace a number of recent initiatives. However, it appears that in the race to demonstrate its commitment towards security and lay down a range of measures and protocols to shield Android products from serious threats, Google follows Apple by introducing account deletion policy for Android apps.
Besides its vision to make the Android ecosystem more trustworthy, Google’s account deletion policy is a significant move towards ensuring that Android users have a greater control over their personal information and can easily manage their online presence. In accordance with the policy, Android apps that allow users to create accounts must also provide a straightforward way to delete them.
That being said, let’s elaborate this a little. Bethel Otuteye, Senior Director, Product Management, Android App Safety in a blogpost on Wednesday stated that, “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.”
That means that the company will ask developers to enable the feature to initiate account deletion process from within the app directly. In addition to that, the online process is targeted, for which the developers will first have to answer to the Data deletion questions in the Data safety form by December 7. While the Play Store’s Data safety section already highlights data deletion processes, through this the users would be able to request to have their accounts as well as data deleted without having to reinstall the app. The responses from the developers will be reflected in the data safety section along with information about the data collection practices that an app follows.
Google also mentioned that when a user deletes an account, he or she must likewise be able to delete the data associated with the account. If a user does not want to delete the account entirely, it can also choose to erase data such as activity history, images, or videos. In an event that the developers need to hold some data for valid reasons such as security, breach prevention, or regulatory compliance, must disclose the details properly. An extended grace period until May 31, 2024, is also offered to developers who might need time to implement this.
This move came a month later, in addition to the recent initiatives that Google welcomed to protect their users’ privacy and security. Even though the introduction of an account deletion policy for apps is not a novel concept, as Apple has already implemented a similar policy last year, by taking proactive measures to address the concerns of its users, Google is setting a standard of data safety.
With Android 14, Google became more focused on privacy. As technology continues to evolve, it is essential that companies remain vigilant in their efforts to protect user data. Taking this into consideration, Google follows Apple by introducing account deletion policy for Android apps.
Source: Android Developers Blog