Home
  • Payments and Transfers
  • Disputes and Limitations
  • My Account
  • My Wallet
  • Login & Security
  • Seller Tools

How does data erasure work and what does it entail?

What user information does PayPal retain?

PayPal progressively erases information during the required retention period, culminating in the complete erasure of your information. While some data, such as marketing data, is erased immediately, other data may be retained in compliance with laws and for PayPal's legitimate interests, including preventing fraud and money laundering.

Why does PayPal need to retain user information?

By law, PayPal must retain some user data for a certain number of years to comply with legal and regulatory obligations. This is also done to help prevent fraud and money laundering, as well as for the establishment, exercise, and defense of legal claims.

Due to these reasons, PayPal can’t erase all of a customer’s information upon receiving a request. Federal, state, and local laws determine the length of time that data is retained. To learn more about how your data is collected, stored, used, and shared, refer to our Privacy Statement. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Do data retention and management processes differ by country?

Yes, data retention requirements vary among different countries.

What are the statutory obligations for completing the data erasure process?

During the data erasure process, PayPal will:

  • Acknowledge your request.
  • Explain to you if we can’t immediately erase your data and why.
  • Adhere to the requirements related to user verification and timelines.

What are the eligibility criteria for data erasure?

To help us erase your data, you can take the following actions (as applicable):  

  • If your account is limited, go to the Resolution Center, select Go to Account Limitations, then click Resolve. Make sure any outstanding payments have cleared. We cannot close your account until all dues are paid.
  • Also, transfer your PayPal balance (if any) to your bank.
  • If there is a balance owing to us, click the Resolve your balance that shows an amount due to us link next to your PayPal balance.
  • If there are any disputes on the account, wait for them to be resolved. 

Just a reminder that even after closing your account, we may still need to retain some of your data to comply with our data retention obligations.

For Brazil: If you owe an amount to us, click the Pay what you owe link next to the amount.

What are the stages that an erasure request must go through?

Once you have requested data erasure, we will check your account's eligibility. After the eligibility check, we will notify you whether your account qualifies for erasure or not.

What are common reasons why a data erasure request may not be completed?

The most common reasons for a non-qualifying account are account limitations, outstanding payments, a positive balance, or an amount due towards PayPal.

What happens if a data erasure request can't be executed immediately?

The data erasure request requires the account to be closed, triggering the start of the data retention period. PayPal will acknowledge the user's request for erasure and take action to start the erasure process; however, erasure will only be completed for data that do not need to be retained, such as marketing materials. At the end of the data retention period, the user's information would be automatically erased, except for rare circumstances where PayPal has legitimate interests in retaining it for longer.

What credentials are required to validate the identity of the person who requests data erasure?

PayPal can only accept erasure requests from the legitimate data owner or their heir/ authorized representative. To validate the identity of the person requesting data erasure, PayPal checks their credentials and requires them to pass two-factor authentication (2FA) successfully.

How are erasure request status updates communicated?

After submitting a data erasure request, you'll be notified via email at the address provided during the request submission. It's important to note that this email address cannot be modified once the request has been submitted.

How can I check the status of my erasure request?

You'll be notified about the status of your requests through email. You should also check your email Spam folder for any missed communication before contacting PayPal. However, if you have not received any notification, you can contact PayPal Customer Service to get the status of your request.

Does PayPal automatically erase retained data?

Yes, PayPal will erase the data if it qualifies for erasure after the retention period as per the policies and regulations.

After making an erasure request, can I request a Data Access Report (DAR)?

Yes, you can request a data access report while also requesting data erasure. However, once the account is closed, you cannot download or request a DAR copy of your information through PayPal’s self-service online system, but you can still make an offline request by contacting us through our public website.

How do I contact PayPal's Data Protection Officer (DPO)?

PayPal's DPO can be contacted through the Contact us section, and details can be found at Privacy Hub.

How do I contact PayPal Customer Support regarding my erasure request?

You can Contact us. Learn more about how your data is collected, stored, used, and shared in our Privacy Statement.

Was this article helpful?

More ways we can help

How are we doing?
Take our survey

We’ll use cookies to improve and customize your experience if you continue to browse. Is it OK if we also use cookies to show you personalized ads? Learn more and manage your cookies