GDPR – Manage your data retention period

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Qualifio allows you to specify the duration of time that you will retain the data of participants. Based on the data retention period you define, we’ll automatically delete participant data (when the data retention period ends). Here, we’ll look at how you can apply settings in Qualifio for this purpose.

This guide is part of Qualifio’s GDPR Toolbox. See the overview here.

Your retention period is the length of time you store participant data in Qualifio. Once the retention period ends, your participants’ personal data is automatically deleted. This reduces the risk of keeping unnecessary information.

The default data retention policy for Qualifio Engage is 24 months. Your organisation’s retention policy can be different, depending on how you manage the data, and on the laws and regulations with which you are required to comply.

Permissions
If you’d like to manage data retention settings in Qualifio, log in using an account with DPO permissions.

Create a data retention policy

You can configure a retention policy for participant data. If you don’t have one, Qualifio will store participant data for two years before deleting it.

Manage your business data retention period settings

  1. Go to Settings, then click GDPR Toolbox then click Personal data erasure.
  2. Under User data retention, you can manage your data retention period settings.
Qualifio sets a minimum and a maximum period for keeping participant data. You must keep data in Qualifio between one week and two years.

With Qualifio’s data retention policy settings, there are three levels at which you can adjust how long participant data is retained after participation:

Default data retention period

The default data retention period controls when the participant data in your organisation’s Qualifio account can be deleted.

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📝 Note: If you reduce the default data retention period, it will also affect the data that you have in the CRM. Extending data retention beyond 24 months is not possible.

You can only have one default retention period. This default rule applies only when a custom rule doesn’t apply (see below).

Custom data retention rules

When you want to keep all data for all websites in your account for a set time, using the default retention period is enough. But if you need to keep specific data for a set time, you will need custom retention rules.

You can specify the data retention with conditions depending on

  • Websites – If one of your markets or brands is required to delete personal data after a certain time, you can configure Qualifio to delete it from all Qualifio systems. You can only have one retention rule for each website. Data is retained according to the newest rule, which replaces the older ones.
  • Campaigns – Set retention rules per campaign. For example, if the data retention period is 2 months, then data is erased 2 months after the participation. You can only have one retention rule for each campaign. Data is retained according to the newest rule, which replaces the older ones.

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Add a data retention rule

To add a data retention rule, follow these steps in Qualifio.

  1. Find the table under Data retention rules for websites & campaigns.
  2. Select a level.
  3. Enter a website or campaign name.
  4. Enter a retention period.
  5. Select +.

Note:

  • Time is measured in weeks or months.
  • Retention periods must be entered as values between 1 and 104.
  • You can set a maximum of 30 custom rules for your organisation.

Delete a data retention rule

To delete a data retention rule, follow these steps in Qualifio.

  1. Find the table under Data retention rules for websites & campaigns.
  2. Click Delete.
  3. A dialog box will ask you to confirm your decision to delete the data retention rule. Click Delete.

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Warning: An improperly configured retention rule can allow Qualifio to immediately and irreversibly delete data. Use caution when you create or change retention rules. If you change the retention period, it takes effect on old participations too. For example, if no data retention period was set for a campaign, and it is subsequently set to 1 week, data older than the new retention period (1 week) will be deleted.

How retention works

Qualifio automatically deletes participant data when the data retention period ends. Personally identifiable data (PII) data will be completely deleted, but the participant’s activity will still appear in reports. This is because the policy doesn’t affect aggregate data (campaign reporting, Global Stats, etc.).

Aggregate data is retained for two years and can thus be available beyond the data retention period. In that case, participation data will be anonymised, so participants cannot be re-identified. For more information, refer to Qualifio data retention.

Viewing the history of changes

You can view a history of all changes made to the User data retention section in the GDPR Toolbox. Click on GDPR logs to view any changes made to the fields in this section. You can see who made the changes and when. This can be useful for compliance and monitoring purposes.

Frequently asked questions

How do you calculate the data retention period?

Data retention is based on the date the data was recorded in Qualifio. The retention period is a rolling window and data is erased incrementally.

Example:
If the data retention period is 2 months, then data is erased on day 61.

For participation data, the retention period starts clocking when a participant takes part in a Qualifio campaign. The data retention period lasts from the moment of participation until a maximum of 24 months later.

For CRM data, the retention period is reset after each campaign participation. If the user takes part in a campaign again before the data retention period ends, the retention period is extended. The day of the new participation becomes the new start date.

Example:
In this example, the retention period is set to 2 months. The user takes part in a campaign, and Qualifio marks this date as Day 1. We would delete the user data at the end of the data retention period on D1+60 (61st day).

After the user participates in a campaign again, say on Day 15, Qualifio adjusts the date. We will now delete the data at the end of the new data retention period, so on D15+60.

If the user takes part in a campaign again after the data retention period ends, Qualifio processes their data as a new profile in the CRM.

Can I have a copy of my data prior to it being deleted?

Yes. You can export and download your data from Qualifio. See the Exporting participation data user guide for more information.

In addition to the export options provided, you can use an integration to get a copy of your participation data into your system, either in batch updates or dynamically in real-time.

If you have data requirements outside the scope of what the interface can provide, contact your organisation’s account manager. Special accommodations can be made; costs may vary.

How long does Qualifio keep my data?

By default, the data retention period is two years (24 months). Contact your Qualifio account’s DPO for the specific time your data is scheduled to be deleted.

If you are your organisation’s DPO, to check your retention period, go to Settings > GDPR Toolbox > Personal data erasure > User data retention.

When will the data be deleted?

A newly created rule is not immediately active. This is because the erasure of the data occurs between midnight and 8:30 am CET and is being performed every 1-7 days.

Will changing retention rules be retroactive?

  • Retention rules are retroactive when you reduce your retention period: it will delete all data older than the new retention period, both historically and moving forward.
  • Retention rules are not retroactive when you increase the retention period: they do not apply to data you have already deleted. It is not possible to recover the deleted data.

Need more help?

Contact Qualifio Support.

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