Apple’s finally cracking down on apps that don’t easily let you delete your account and data when you want to leave their service.
Starting June 30, the company will enforce a policy that apps that provide sign-up (or account creation methods) features will also need to make sure they allow users to delete their account through that interface.
Here’s what the company says in its developer guidelines:
If your app supports account creation, you must also offer account deletion within the app. Apps may not require users to enter personal information to function, except when directly relevant to the core functionality of the app or required by law.
If your core app functionality is not related to a specific social network (e.g. Facebook, WeChat, Weibo, Twitter, etc.), you must provide access without a login or via another mechanism.
Apple originally introduced this change at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) last year as part of its App Store review guideline revamp. It provided a deadline of January 31, 2022, for developers to tweak their apps.
However, days before the deadline date, Apple said it’s extending the timeline to June 30, 2022 to give some more time to developers to make changes.
Notably, app makers can’t allow just a temporary deactivation option. The company said they need to “delete the entire account record, along with associated personal data.”
The iPhone maker also specified that developers need to keep users informed if the account wiping process will take time.
This is a positive step by Apple to make it easy for users to delete their accounts — a process that sometimes involves hassles like calling customer service or sending multiple emails. Hopefully, other app stores will also follow this practice.
You can read more about account deletion guidelines on Apple’s developer website.
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