Apple: Apps that create accounts must let people delete them by Feb 2022

What you need to know

  • Apple has reminded developers that apps must allow people to delete accounts if they also allow their creation.
  • The rule will be enforced from January 31, 2022.

The rule comes into force on January 31, 2022.

Apple has today reminded developers that any app that allows the creation of a new account must also allow its deletion to be initiated in-app, too. The move was announced during WWDC in June and will formally come into effect on January 31, 2022.

Apple says that the future account deletion requirement will only apply to new apps and updates that are submitted for App Store review starting January 31, so any app that is already live will be fine — so long as it's never updated.

The updates to App Store Review Guideline 5.1.1 last June provided users with greater control over their personal data, stating that all apps that allow for account creation must also allow users to initiate deletion of their account from within the app. This requirement applies to all app submissions starting January 31, 2022.

Apple also noted that developers should check local laws in terms of any specific data requirements that could be of note.

We encourage you to review any laws that may require you to maintain certain types of data, and to make sure your app clearly explains what data your app collects, how it collects that data, all uses of that data, your data retention/deletion policies, and more as described in the guideline. Examples of this type of data include electronic health records, and sales and warranty records.

Apple's tweaking of App Store rules is something that works against developers in a lot of instances, but this one is squarely aimed at helping customers ensure their accounts are easily deleted when they want that to happen. In many ways Apple's App Store oversight is one of the best iPhone features that many people forget about — although some would likely disagree with that sentiment.

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