Apple delays in-app account deletion requirement, extends IAP exception for group services

Apple has pushed back the enforcement of some rules that were previously set to come into effect on January 31st.

Firstly, during the first 2020 lockdowns, Apple allowed apps offering realtime group services to use payment methods other than In-App Purchase. This exception was introduced to help businesses trying to adapt to pandemic life. Citing the recent resurgence of COVID, this exception is now being extended to June. Apple has also deferred previously-announced rules that would require apps to offer simple in-app account deletion.

Regarding the online group event exception, this is now the second time Apple has extended the exception enforcement date. The guideline change was initially introduced because Apple was facing criticism for strictly imposing its 15-30% commission rules during the first waves of coronavirus, at a time when businesses were already struggling to transition from offering in-person activities to virtual alternatives.

The tabled account deletion rules would force apps to offer an easy to find account deletion option inside the app. Apple said the action should fully delete a user’s account along with all personal data. The original deadline for implementation of this rule was coming up at the end of January. Apple says that it is giving app publishers and developers more time as it recognizes the complexity of offering this functionality.

It has become somewhat of a trend for Apple to announce App Store rule changes and a deadline, only to delay enforcement multiple times. In some cases, it has abandoned the rule change entirely after receiving developer feedback. Last year, for instance, App Tracking Transparency launched in April 2021 after originally being earmarked for September 2020.

Perhaps most notably, in 2017, Apple announced that it would soon require developers to adopt HTTPS for all network calls inside apps. However, fast forward to today, and this is still not mandatory as it became apparent that many apps could not reasonably comply due to technical obstacles.

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