Posted by Tatiana van Maaren – Global T&S Partnerships Lead, Privacy & Security, May Smith – Product Manager, and Anita Issagholyan – Policy Lead

With millions of developers relying on our platform, Google Play is committed to keeping our ecosystem safe for everyone. That’s why, in addition to our ongoing investments in app privacy and security, we also continuously update our policies to respond to new challenges and user expectations.

For example, we recently introduced a new account deletion policy with required disclosures within the Data Safety section on the Play Store. Deleting an account should be as easy as creating one, so the new policy requires developers to provide information and web resources that help users to manage their data and understand an app’s deletion practices.

To help you build trust and design a user-friendly experience that helps meet our policy requirements, consider these 5 best practices when implementing your account deletion solution.

1.     Make it seamless

Users prefer a simple and straightforward account deletion flow. Although users know that more steps may follow (such as authentication) navigating multiple screens before the deletion page can be a significant barrier and create negative feelings for the user. Consider providing your account deletion option on an account settings page or place a prominent button on the home screen. Design the flow with discoverability in mind by taking the user directly to the deletion process.

2.     Allow automatic deletion

Users feel that if they can create an account without talking to a customer service agent, they should be able to delete their account online, too. If automation is not on your roadmap just yet, consider a step-by-step deletion request form or a dedicated page to connect users with customer support.

3.     Offer guidance and explain potential implications

Users delete their accounts for various reasons, some of which may be better resolved another way. Early in your deletion flow, point your users toward a Help Center article that explains how your deletion process works in simple terms, including any potential consequences. For example, make it clear if your users will need to pause their payment method before deleting the account, or download any account data they want to keep. Helping your users understand the process in advance can prevent accidental deletions. For those who do change their minds, consider offering a way to recover their accounts within a reasonable timeframe.

Here’s an example of how Play Store Developer, Canva, has designed the in-app deletion flow to explain potential consequences of account deletion:

user journey on the Canva app in three panels

User journey on the Canva app

“User data privacy has always been important for us. We’ve always been intentional about our approach in optimizing the Canva app so our users can have more transparency and control over their data. We’re welcoming these new requirements from the Play store as we know this new flow will elevate users’ trust in our app and benefit our business in the long term.” – Will Currie, Software Engineer, Canva

4.     Confirm account deletion

Sometimes users misunderstand whether the account itself or just data collected by the app was deleted in the deletion process. Users often think that the data your app stored in the cloud will automatically be deleted at the same time as account deletion. Since it may take time to remove account data from internal company systems or comply with data retention requirements in different regions, transparency about the process can help you maintain trust in your brand and make it more likely for users to return in the future.

Here’s SYBO Games, has designed their web deletion in-app deletion flow:

user journey on the Sybo Games web resource in four panels

User journey on the SYBO Games web resource

“We are always striving to ensure that our games provide a fun user experience, built on a solid data protection foundation. When we learned about the new account deletion update on Google Play, we thought this was a great step forward to ensure that the entire developer ecosystem optimizes for user safety. We encourage developers to carve out time to embrace these improvements and prioritize regular privacy check-ins.”  – Elizabeth Ann Schweitzer, Games Compliance Manager, SYBO Games

5.     Don’t forget user engagement

This is a great opportunity to connect with your users at a critical moment. Make sure users who have uninstalled your app can easily remove their accounts through a web resource without needing to reinstall the app. You can also invite them to complete a survey or provide feedback on their decision.

Protecting users’ data is essential for building trust and loyalty. By updating the Data Safety section on Google Play and continuing to optimize user experience for account deletion, you can strengthen trust in your company while striving for the highest level of user data protection.

Thank you for your continued collaboration and feedback in developing this data transparency feature and in helping make Google Play safe for all.


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