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Deactivating or Deleting accounts on a web service [not a coding question]


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I have to say that this is not a coding question but is something i would like to hear your opinion:

I am building a web service where the user registers and then can have access to this service.

During his/her time using the service, the user collects some points according to his/her actions (similar to what Stackoverflow does).

Question 1: Do we need to offer both DEACTIVATION and DELETE account?

Question 2: In case of DEACTIVATION should i offer an option to re-activate their previous account [with all points gathered so far]? Meaning all their previous data are kept in the database, just change some flags? Is there a best practice for this?

Question 3: In case of DELETE account, how do i proceed? Do i delete all database data regading that user? What if a user wants to delete his/her account because he/she gathered a lot of negative points and wants to re-register with the same email just with no negative points?

Question 4: Do other services (like Facebook or Google+) delete any data from their databases even if the user wants to delete his/her account? Are there any legal issues?


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I would just do as a deactivation with option to reactivate.

It seems there could be workarounds as in cheating to your system?

Not to say someone can come in with a fresh ip,user name and email and start over.


For the record I made an account when facebook first started just so a person could not use my name, I deleted the account a short while after, just recently I was able to log back in and use the same account, so was not deleted as they claimed.

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