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App Store virtual event, account deletion rule changes delayed until June

Developers now have more time to change their apps to abide by inbound App Store rules about online virtual group events and in-app account deletion, with a new deadline set for June 30.

In an update posted to Apple's Developer site on Saturday, Apple warns developers that it has changed deadlines for rules applying to apps held in the App Store. The deadlines have been lengthened, giving developers a few more months to implement changes to their apps.

"In order to provide more time for you to update your apps, we've changed the following requirement deadlines to June 30, 2022," writes Apple.

The first rule to be changed relates to 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 was previously extended to December 31, 2021. Now, due to a resurgence of COVID and its "continued impact on in-person services," developers have until June 30 to add it to their apps, if the rule applies to it.

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

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

Apple also reminds developers the account deletion option should be easy to find, and users should be able to delete the account along with personal data. As well as following applicable laws for storing and retaining user account information, apps in highly-regulated industries may also need "to provide additional support flows to confirm and facilitate the account deletion process."