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

App Store icon
App Store icon (Image credit: iMore)

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.

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.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.