Exporting User Data

User Management practices must account for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. One of its tenets is that Users have a right to data portability.

Data portability means that a User has the right to receive their personal data in a machine-readable format.

The Control Panel’s User Management system now supports the export of a User’s personal data to a ZIP file for download. The data format for the files containing the data is XML.

Exporting and Downloading

To export user data,

  1. Go to Control PanelUsersUsers and Organizations.

  2. Find the User and click the Actions button (Actions), then click Export Personal Data.

    This opens the User’s Export Personal Data screen.

  3. If there are no existing export processes shown, there’s only one thing to do: click the Add button (Add). The tool for exporting the User’s data appears.

    Figure 1: The Export Personal Data tool lets you export all or some of the Users data.

    Figure 1: The Export Personal Data tool lets you export all or some of the User's data.

  4. Most of the time you want to export all the available data. Click the checkbox at the top of the screen, and all applications containing User data are selected in the UI.

  5. Click Export. You’re taken back to the User’s Export Personal Data screen, but now there’s an export process in the list.

    Figure 2: Once User data is successfully exported, the export process is displayed in the Users Export Personal Data list.

    Figure 2: Once User data is successfully exported, the export process is displayed in the User's Export Personal Data list.

  6. Download the data. Click the Actions button (Actions) for the process and select Download.

Examining Exported Data

So what does the exported data look like?

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<model>
    <model-name>com.liferay.message.boards.kernel.model.MBMessage</model-name>
    <column>
        <column-name>messageId</column-name>
        <column-value><![CDATA[37046]]></column-value>
    </column>
    <column>
        <column-name>statusByUserId</column-name>
        <column-value><![CDATA[37024]]></column-value>
    </column>
    <column>
        <column-name>statusByUserName</column-name>
        <column-value><![CDATA[Herbert Kitchener]]></column-value>
    </column>
    <column>
        <column-name>userId</column-name>
        <column-value><![CDATA[37024]]></column-value>
    </column>
    <column>
        <column-name>userName</column-name>
        <column-value><![CDATA[Herbert Kitchener]]></column-value>
    </column>
    <column>
        <column-name>subject</column-name>
        <column-value><![CDATA[Hrmmph! I don't know where you got your idea of a ...]]></column-value>
    </column>
    <column>
        <column-name>body</column-name>
        <column-value><![CDATA[<p>Hrmmph! I don&#39;t know where you got your idea of a decent cup of
  coffee, but it isn&#39;t mine. Fact is, it hasn&#39;t been possible to get a
  get a decent brew anywhere, not since Whitehall decided to let the
  colonies go.</p>]]></column-value>
    </column>
</model>

In this example, User Herbert Kitchener made a Message Boards Message post, and his User information was recorded in the MBMessage model’s database table.

This actually corresponds with a comment on a Blogs Entry:

Figure 3: A Comment on a blog post is User Associated Data.

Figure 3: A Comment on a blog post is User Associated Data.

Exporting User data informs Site owners and Users about how much personal data the sight may have.

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