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Delete a user without leaving holes in other data types

When a user delete himself, all the data related to this user remain empty within the app: what I mean is that, if for example the user gave a feedback to another user, the feedback will just miss the details of who wrote it.

How to give the user the right to delete his data, while keeping his footprint in the app intact?

(the question is both from the technical and the legal point of view).


Just deactivate him, do not delete anything :slight_smile:


What do you mean deactivate?

Have a field “Status” (Boolean - yes/no) under each user. When user wants to delete his account, just change Status = No
Then, all the other data will still be there, if user ever wants to come back

If you really want to delete the user, then you need to erase everything related to that particular user. For example if you have the following scenario:

  1. User
  2. Cars

User has a list of cars
If you only delete the user, then all his cars will still be there. What you need to do is:

  1. Delete a list of things: Do a search for Cars with constraint User=CurrentCells User
    2 Delete CurrentCells User

Does it makes sense?

Ufff… yes I understand… each scenario has still complications…

scenario 1) ok the user’s Is somehow invisible but, can I still show all his things? comments, feedbacks given etc etc etc…? I mean, it is a strange issue, he wants to be deleted but I can’t simply hide all his activities, because they are related to other user’s activities… (imagine the messages of the messaging system for example)… do you know what I mean?

scenario 2) similar problem… for example the user is the creator of a “car” that is loved by a list of users, that are sorted by the distance from the car’s creator… and so on…

Going crazy just imagining the possible connections…

I would just enable/disable the user, then everything remains intact. This has nothing to do with his activity.
For example if a user leaves a comment to something and his account is disabled. Another user click on his avatar from that comment, then you could show “User does not exist anymore”

I’m not sure about the legal part though. Maybe someone else could help with this

Ok technically speaking this seems to be the best solution, you mean I leave everything intact, comments, connections and so on, I just disable the profile…

Yes for the legal part would be very important to know. and very curious though (maybe this is even a question for Quora and stuff…)

Thank you very much!

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Another option would be to have another UserAccount (that is setup not to be able to log in - ever), it would be used with “FormerMember”, for all the things you want to retain e.g. comments, that refer to the user that want to leave, re-reference them to the “FormerMember” account.

This would allow you to delete the user private personal information, but retain all the public interaction.

This of course depends on how you have everything set up.

This would mean using custom fields for tracking the owner of data, as the “Creator” field can’t be altered by a workflow action.

Correct, that is why I put “This of course depends on how you have everything set up.”

Where I have broken out the data into separate table, I include an Owner field (type user) for this reason.

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