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Thread: delete users after x years inactive

  1. #1

    Thread Starter
    King of sapila
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    delete users after x years inactive

    Hi.
    We are getting more and more notifications as a company on this matter so I don't know if it's global or it's just the stupid GDPR laws in Europe.
    We are requested to delete from our records users that are inactive for a finite (exact translations from legislation requests) amount of time.
    Now finite, yes I could go on and say finite is 20 years. Anyhow probably after a year of inactivity we age waving the white handkerchief on users.
    So just thought to let you know.
    Slow as hell.

  2. #2
    WiggleWiggle dclamp's Avatar
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    Re: delete users after x years inactive

    I say we delete user accounts after 500 years of inactivity.
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  3. #3
    ex-Administrator brad jones's Avatar
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    Re: delete users after x years inactive

    Deleting inactive accounts can cause problems. There are a lot of people that created an account, but rarely log into it. Rather they use it so as to get notifications for given forum areas, but when they come to the forum, they don't actually sign in. This means their account could appear inactive, even though they are coming to the forum. They just aren't posting, but rather focus on reading.

    Removing inactive accounts would be a good move from a security risk. If a site gets breached, then if you have purged old accounts, you don't have to worry about notify those people of such a breach. I'm sure there are other reasons to remove names as well, but without knowing it a user truly is inactive, it is risky form a business perspective to delete an account.

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  4. #4
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Re: delete users after x years inactive

    Quote Originally Posted by sapator View Post
    Hi.
    We are getting more and more notifications as a company on this matter so I don't know if it's global or it's just the stupid GDPR laws in Europe.
    We are requested to delete from our records users that are inactive for a finite (exact translations from legislation requests) amount of time.
    Now finite, yes I could go on and say finite is 20 years. Anyhow probably after a year of inactivity we age waving the white handkerchief on users.
    So just thought to let you know.
    Who are you and which organization do your represent?

    I'm trying to figure "why" you are letting us know.

  5. #5

    Thread Starter
    King of sapila
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    Re: delete users after x years inactive

    Hi.
    We are actually getting these notification from Greece public sector agencies. This is global in Greece (and I guess in Europe due to GDPR but not 100% sure about that).
    I was just asking to see if this has spread outside of Europe but from the answer you probably haven't heard anything about it.So I guess you can ignore this.
    Slow as hell.

  6. #6
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Re: delete users after x years inactive

    Thanks for the reply. Your original post was worded strangely.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: delete users after x years inactive

    It's all Greek, to him.

    There are moves afoot to do things like the GDPR in the US, though what will come of them is hard to say at this early date. The state of California may be going the furthest, and considering their economic weight, that may be enough. Hasn't happened, yet, though, so who knows.

    I'm certainly not in favor of getting rid of accounts of at least SOME inactive members (though it does annoy me that the user with the name Shaggy showed up a few years before me, made one post, and has never returned, thereby blocking that name for me). The two that come most readily to mind are Parksie and Gruff. They won't be coming back (probably, though it WOULD be interesting if they did), so what Brad stated doesn't apply in their cases, but I'd rather not be getting rid of those accounts.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: delete users after x years inactive

    GDPR says (paraphrased) that you can only retain personal data (data that describes a person or can be used to personally identify them) for as long as it has a legitimate business use. Although it's EU legislation it does apply to companies from outside the EU if they trade in the EU - so that really does cover forums like this one. There is, however, no firm definition for "legitimate business use" and the definitions around whether data is deemed personal or not are a bit woolly.

    Realistically Forums can argue that all posts can be retained under legitimate business use (they are the purpose of the forum, after all) and they don't hold personal data except, perhaps, in people's profiles if they've fleshed them out with their age etc. At most we'd have to redact (not necessarily delete) that sort of stuff after a period of inactivity.

    Honestly, though, this sort of stuff isn't going to get set in stone until there're some test cases and, realistically, VBF aren't going to be high up on the radar. GDPR isn't motivated by shutting down the voluntary sharing of information by the individual, which is what forums tend to be about.
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  9. #9
    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: delete users after x years inactive

    re GDPR. See this article re fines imposed over the last year. https://www.techrepublic.com/article...21103418818735
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