Not everything is meant to last forever, and profiles are no exception. For reasons of data protection or data purging, sometimes a profile must go the way of the dinosaur. 🦖☄️ Still, should it be totally lost to history or leave a few fossils behind? That will depend entirely upon the circumstances. Read on to find out the differences between deleting and forgetting and when to opt for one or the other.

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What does it mean to delete or forget a profile and what's the difference between the two?

How do I forget or delete a profile?

Forgetting and deleting an individual profile

Forgetting and deleting profiles in bulk

Can a forgotten profile be deleted?

What does it mean to delete or forget a profile and what's the difference between the two?

Deleting a profile completely and irreversibly wipes out any trace of a profile from Full Fabric. 💣 As this article explains, it's very useful (even crucial) for keeping your database uncluttered and manageable. In addition, it may also be helpful in maintaining compliance with data protection rules.

In contrast, the ability to forget a profile has an edge in that it permanently deletes all associated data except for the person's first name, last name and primary email address, and a forgotten profile can only be reactivated if the user logs in again or otherwise re-engages through Full Fabric (either by registering for an event, submitting a form or starting an application). When someone is forgotten in Full Fabric, it's usually at their request – related to the Right to Erasure under article 17 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), succinctly described here.

On the whole, the main advantage of forgetting a profile instead of simply deleting it is that, as mentioned above, it prevents staff users from purposefully or accidentally creating the profile all over again, therefore respecting the user's wishes and complying with the GDPR. 🚫 The second advantage is that you get to retain a basic track of the profile, which may prove useful for stats. That said, a forgotten profile is extremely basic. Here's an example of what it looks like, for reference:

Please bear in mind that Full Fabric is unable to recover deleted and forgotten data.


How do I forget or delete a profile?

It's possible to forget and delete profiles individually and in bulk.

Forgetting and deleting an individual profile

1) Enter a profile and open the tab Advanced

2) Access the General tab

3) Click Forget profile or Delete profile, as appropriate

4) To confirm, click…

  • I understand the consequences, purge this profile:

  • Or I understand the consequences, delete this profile:

Forgetting and deleting profiles in bulk

Forgetting and deleting profiles in bulk is achieved through a shared segment page.

1) Access or create a segment (preferably a shared segment)

2) Ensure that the necessary segmentation rules to produce the profiles you're looking for are set up

3) Click the vertical ellipsis on the list search bar and choose Delete profiles or Forget profiles, as intended

4) To confirm, click…

  • I understand the consequences, delete these profiles:

  • Or I understand the consequences, forget these profiles:

As already noted, please be aware that deleting and forgetting profiles are irreversible actions; accordingly, you cannot restore user data after you've gone ahead with either one.

Can a forgotten profile be deleted?

Yes, a profile that's been forgotten can be deleted – however, you'll lose the benefits that come with forgetting a profile, the most dangerous of which is that the profile will no longer be blocked from being recreated by staff. If, for whatever reason, that's a risk worth taking, just follow the directions concerning deletion laid out in the previous topic: How do I forget or delete a profile? The only difference is that the Forget profile function will be disabled.


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PUBLISHED: March 17, 2022
LAST UPDATED: September 5, 2022 at 10:43 a.m.

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