The subject of data protection is becoming more and more important. Within the EU, all companies must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
A side note: Before we talk about deleting data, we need to spend a moment to consider which data has to be kept in your ERP for how long. Fulfillment and invoicing require us to store shipping addresses for customer questions and billing addresses for the tax authorities. Most of this information for at least ten years.
The Feature in NetSuite
Starting with NetSuite 2019.2 the functionality „Remove Personal Information“ was made available on entity records, transactions, and custom records. You can just enable this feature in your NetSuite company settings
(go to Setup => Company => Enable Features => SuiteCloud => SuiteBuilder).
You can find a good explanation of this functionality within NetSuite help. Basically what you do is create a „Personal Information Removal Request“, this replaces the information within the selected fields after approval, using a mass update. Here you first define the record type which needs to be updated. In the next step, you select all specific records from that type, and in the last step, you choose which fields should be updated. The information on those records now gets overwritten. For example, the value in the email field of a specific customer record is being replaced with „PI_removed@example.com“. That also applies to the related entries in the system information. In addition, you can replace information in the workflow history entries.
But how useful is this functionality in your daily business? Let us take the example of an email address. As you cannot search for the email address within the functionality of the Personal Information Removal Request, you have to identify all relevant record types by saved searches, before you can even start using the tool. As we talk about a lot of potential records that need to be updated (e.g. Sales Orders), another bottleneck is the fact that you have to select every single record within the Personal Information Removal Request on its own. This means a lot of checkboxes to mark.
The next point to note is the address. If you want to remove personal data from the address, for example on a Lead record, you have the problem that none of the fields on addresses (addressee, address1, city, zip, etc.) are overwritten by the PI Removal tool. There is a value for the address (default address) that can be selected in the PI Removal Request, but performing a request has no impact on any of the fields on the address records. Also there is no native functionality within the NetSuite PI Removal tool, that allows you to take into account the retention periods.
So overall the idea of replacing defined values with nonpersonal information is good, but so far the NetSuite solution is only suitable to a limited extent for daily business.
Therefore, Alta Via is working on a solution that really fits the needs of our customers. Ask us if you have any questions or need support on this topic.