There are two ways to delete data in Flatfile:
- Remove data from the dashboard (soft deletion)
- Delete all traces of data from Flatfile (hard deletion). This is done by defining a retention policy. You can do this by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remove data from the dashboard
Log in to Flatfile and go to Imports in the navigation menu on the left side of the window. Then, click on the import you would like to remove. To remove it, click on the trash can icon on the top right-hand corner.
This will delete the imported data from your dashboard only. Your data will still be available in our databases in case you ever need to retrieve it.
To delete all traces of data from Flatfile (a hard deletion) you need to set up a retention policy by speaking to one of our customer success representatives.
What gets deleted?
All protected data is deleted. Protected data is any data that Flatfile has received from our users, but is not metadata. This means that customer-provided data, data that can be used to identify customers or individuals, and data that Flatfile has processed will be deleted. For example, if you upload a CSV file containing the names, addresses, and phone numbers of your customers, both your original file and the processed data will be deleted from Flatfile.
What doesn’t get deleted?
Metadata will not be deleted. Metadata is information regarding data schemas, validation, labeling, mapping, patterns, formats, file name, file size, file types, encoding, data types, correlations, timing, file structure, and any other data that does not include the protected data. Flatfile uses this metadata to accelerate and improve Flatfile for your customers. For instance, we use mapping metadata from previous customers to recommend or set mapping for new customers. It is important to remember that metadata cannot be used to identify individuals, and it is safe to keep.
How will I know when data is deleted?
Your API Admin will get an email after each automated deletion, notifying them of how many documents were deleted and when.
What information do I need to provide to set up a retention policy?
Flatfile needs to know two things to set up a data retention policy:
- How old should the data be in order to get flagged for deletion? Should it be older than 1 hour? Older than 10 days? Older than 6 months?
- How often should data be deleted? Should we scan for data that meets the previous requirement every day? Every week? Every 3 months?
This way we can determine which data to delete and when. For example, you can set your policy to delete data every 3 months that is older than 1 month old.
Q: What if a user is in the middle of importing while deletion occurs?
A: In-process imports that fit the defined criteria for deletion will be deleted, and the user will need to start over.
Q: How can I see which imports were deleted?
A: For Portal 3.0, you can retrieve data about removed imports by using the following GraphQL API query, which has a deleted parameter:
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