Skip to main content


Scuba Docs

Perform an ad hoc privacy purge (purge version 1)

This document describes using the privacy purge version 1 infrastructure (for example for GDPR), which allowed for only ad hoc purges. For instructions on how to use the newer infrastructure that supports either ad hoc or continuous purges, see Perform an automated privacy purge.

Information you'll need 

Before you create an ad hoc privacy purge job, have the following on hand:

  • Names of the columns that contain data to be purged.
  • Confirm that your purge infrastructure is version 1 by running "ia settings list | grep purge". If your purge infrastructure is not version 1, see the "Create a one-time (ad hoc) purge job" section in Perform an automated privacy purge.
  • User identifiers for the PII data to be purged.
  • JSON config file listing the column names and respective identifier values.

Config file requirements

The config file should be written in JSON, where each line is a condition, and must conform to the following requirements:

  • Must have Scuba user interface (UI) column names and a comma-separated list of the respective filter values.
  • ALL variables must be enclosed in double quotes (" ") whether string or integer, and comma-separated lists must be in brackets [ ].
  • Each file must be a JSON object, where each key is a column name and each value is an array of strings.

Values with spaces in the name are not supported by Scuba privacy purge.

Config file example

    "UI_ColumnName1":["value1", "value2", "value3"],
    "UI_ColumnName2":["1234", "286", "523"]

How to perform an ad hoc privacy purge

Perform a privacy purge with the Scuba CLI ia purge  command, which automatically performs many of the same Selective data deletion operations. By default ia purge is run in preview (dry-run) mode. Use the --run option to execute the command, as shown in the following example.

The dry-run mode currently only previews metadata, such as named expressions and queries pinned to a dashboard. For a comprehensive list of files to be purged, use the Selective data deletion preview command. However, be aware that the config file format for ia data jobs is different from that used for ia purge run. See the Config file for selective data deletion example.

The following table lists the ia purge arguments, followed by an example.

ia purge  
Positional arguments  

Deletes strings, events, and metadata with values specified by the config file.

Defaults to dry-run mode.


Halts an active purge.

The interrupt option is new in Release 2.25.1.

Optional arguments  
--example-config Displays a sample privacy purge config file.
--instance-name <cluster-name>

If you have more than one cluster, you can specify on which cluster to run the purge.

NOTE: Use the Scuba cluster name, a specific stored credential.

--output {json,text,table} Sets the output format. The default is table.
--run Executes the command. The default is dry-run mode.
--verbose, -v Sets verbose mode, which shows the crash stack trace if an error occurs.
--version Displays the version of Scuba and Scuba CLI currently installed.
--unsafe Use when there is not a valid certificate. To acquire a valid certificate, see How to replace a self-signed certificate.
--help, -h Prints help for this command and then exits.

To preview a list of files that will be purged, use the selective data deletion ia data preview-delete-job command. This command returns a list of events that match the filters in the specified config file.

In the following example, ia purgerun is used with the --run argument to execute the command. A config file is used that contains column names with their respective comma-separated list of user identifier values for the PII data to be purged. For an example of a config file, see the ia purge section of the Scuba CLI reference.

ia purge run gdpr011518.config --run
  • Was this article helpful?