App Store Virtual Event, Account Deletion Policy Changes Delayed to June

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Developers now have more time to modify their apps to comply with the App Store’s inbound rules regarding online virtual group events and removal of in-app accounts, with a new deadline set for June 30 .

In an update posted to Apple’s developer site on Saturday, Apple notifies developers that it has changed the timelines for rules that apply to apps held in the App Store. Deadlines have been extended, giving developers a few extra months to implement changes to their apps.

“To give you more time to update your apps, we’ve changed the following requirement deadlines to June 30, 2022,” Apple wrote.

The first rule to change is for online group events, with App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1 requiring apps to offer online group services via an in-app purchase.

The rule was originally introduced in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the deadline to follow it had previously been extended to December 31, 2021. Now, due to a resurgence of COVID and of its “continued impact on in-person services,” developers have until June 30 to add it to their apps, if the rule applies there.

A second rule for guideline 5.1.1 concerns streamlining account deletion, namely that apps that support account creation must provide a way to delete the same account within the app. It is intended to reduce the amount of effort required by users to wipe an account and potentially reduce the amount of user data an app retains.

While the rule was supposed to apply to app submissions from January 31, Apple says it extended the deadline to June 30 due to the “complexity of implementing this requirement.”

Apple also reminds developers that the account deletion option should be easy to find and that users should be able to delete the account along with personal data. In addition to complying with applicable laws regarding the storage and retention of user account information, apps in highly regulated industries may also need to “provide additional support streams to confirm and facilitate the account deletion process.”

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