There have been many changes to privacy laws (for example, GDPR or the European Union General Data Protection Regulation) intended to change the way that businesses think about and handle Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
As a step toward enabling Open edX to support some of the key updates in privacy laws, edX has implemented APIs and tooling that enable Open edX instances to retire registered users. When you implement this user retirement feature, your Open edX instance can automatically erase PII for a given user from systems that are internal to Open edX (for example, the LMS, forums, credentials, and other independently deployable applications (IDAs)), as well as external systems, such as third-party marketing services.
This section is intended not only for instructing Open edX admins to perform the basic setup, but also to offer some insight into the implementation of the user retirement feature in order to help the Open edX community build additional APIs and states that meet their special needs. Custom code, plugins, packages, or XBlocks in your Open edX instance might store PII, but this feature will not magically find and clean up that PII. You may need to create your own custom code to include PII that is not covered by the user retirement feature.