back to article Google: If your Android app can create accounts, it better be easy to delete them, too

Developers creating Android applications for the Google Play store will need to make it easy for users to delete their app accounts and associated data, though not for a while yet. The account-nuke requirement will apply to Play-hosted programs that allow users to open accounts, Googler Bethel Otuteye explained in a memo this …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this the same Google

    that forced (and is still forcing) people to create gMail accounts they will never use to access the play store ?

    I have lost count of the number of times my wife (not the techiest of people) Android phone mail app has decided to switch back to the never-used gMail account as default.

    And as for calendars ....

    1. v13

      Re: Is this the same Google

      You don't need a Gmail account. You can use a Google Account which can be created with any email address.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is this the same Google

        Still annoying to require a login for it. All that it is doing is giving a data point to associate data with.

        Fine, I don't care that I cannot review things. Most apps on Android are trash and only deserve one star anyways.

        1. esque

          Re: Is this the same Google

          "All that it is doing [...]"

          And giving you a way to synchronize your app purchases across devices.

          1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Is this the same Google

            Suuure... Google does it for our convenience and nothing else.

            Personally I'd prefer choice over convenience, but I know this is nothing but a pipe dream

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Is this the same Google

              No, Google does it for cash and lovely data, but it also is the way they synchronize paid app purchases across devices. They weren't doing anything for our own good, but along with their data collection comes some features that most users will want.

              You don't have to do that, though. You can use an app like Aurora Store (which is on FDroid) to access the Play Store. You can anonymously install offline apps, at least until Google breaks it, and you can use it to obtain APKs for commercial apps which will require your own account to purchase them, but not to install them. This may break if the app concerned expects you to have a Google account or uses it internally. For example, I installed an app that uses Google Play for in-app purchases, and that one was not going to be happy unless the system had a Google account configured. I avoid Google tracking whenever I can, and I find Aurora helps to make that easier, but there will always be some things you can't do if you're using Google's platform without turning on their spyware.

  2. Jan 0 Silver badge

    Small problem, or not?

    How will the app providers delete users' details from their backups?

    (What's that you said?,,,,

    Ah, no backups, no problem:)

  3. mobailey

    So....

    "As the new policy states, when you fulfill a request to delete an account, you must also delete the data associated with that account,"

    So, if I delete my Barclays banking app account, then all my bank accounts will be closed and the money disappear?

    -mobailey

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: So....

      "So, if I delete my Barclays banking app account, then all my bank accounts will be closed and the money disappear?"

      No, if you push the button marked "delete account" on one of your bank accounts, then that account would be closed and the money would have to be transferred somewhere else. If you happen to have a separate account just for online access and the bank doesn't do that automatically without the extra online account, then deleting that account would just take away your online access but the accounts with money in them would stay around. I doubt you'll even be able to do either of those because since when can you set up a bank account just in an app. Whenever I've done it, there have been more forms to fill out that could be doable on a website but in some cases required physical writing on paper in one of their buildings. If the app doesn't let you open an account, it's not required to close them.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: So....

        because since when can you set up a bank account just in an app

        I did that a couple months ago with a regional bank that operates in my state so I know it can be done, and even if a given bank doesn't have that specific functionality in their app I'm pretty sure most banks now allow you to open an account on their web site which is basically the same thing. I did exactly that last year with American Express. Their app barely supports savings accounts, and only works if you have an existing login created via the web. I would guess the barrier for most apps would be either that, or having to provide an existing account number to create your login. It would need to let you create a login without an account to get at the "open account" function, or provide the ability to open an account and make creating your login part of the process.

        The rule seems rather poorly written if it could possibly be interpreted as "if I delete the app and associated data they have to close my bank account". I mean, I'd totally support that for a mortgage but somehow I don't think it would work out the way we might wish!

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: So....

          Just because they would have to delete the account doesn't mean they could take your money or would give you any. That's still illegal, so even if they decided to interpret this literally, it would just make the process of closing an account faster. If they actually deleted the account without finding out where you wanted its contents sent, the money they gained is still legally yours and has to be turned over to you. If they can't find you, they give it to the government to do that. Governments do that in a variety of ways, but many have offices to handle it (not very efficiently, but they do).

      2. Stork Silver badge

        Re: So....

        Revolut and N26 don’t need dead trees, or showing up anywhere in particular.

    2. Orv Silver badge

      Re: So....

      I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the summary of the policy in this article is probably a severe simplification of the actual policy, which likely goes on for several pages and includes clauses in ALL CAPS.

  4. Mark #255

    Still Amazon Prime to tame...

    Amazon still use all the dark patterns in the book to minimise cancellations...

    There really should be a "it shall take as many 'are you sure' pages/dialogue boxes/etc to sign up to a service as it does to cancel" law. Can you imagine?

    Are you sure you want to sign up? [Sign up]

    Think of all the things you could be missing out on by signing up to this service... Click here to continue...

    [The actual button to sign up is not on-screen when the page loads, you'll need to scroll down to actually sign up. If you don't click the button, we won't sign you up.]

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