iTop Extensions

Personal data anonymizer

Personal data anonymizer
Helper extension to quickly anonymize Persons in iTop.
Client Store, iTop Hub
PHP 8.1

An extension to help you anonymize Persons in iTop, to stay compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)


  • Remove the personal data from a given person without deleting the Person object in iTop by “anonymizing” this person:
    • Anonymize the Person and delete its history / Edits
    • Anonymize Users linked to that Person, disable them and delete their history / Edits
    • Anonymize the Case Logs written by a user linked to that person (The actual text as well as the header mentioning this person)
    • Anonymize the Event Notifications sent from or to this Person
  • Person can be anonymized one by one, in bulk (from a list of Persons) or by a scheduled task, to automatically anonymize all persons which have been marked as obsolete for a given period (i.e. 60 days)

Revision History

Date Version Description
2022-11-23 1.3.0 - Split process in tasks and chunks to cope with timeout and high volumes
- Anomymize email notifications and “On Mention”
- Add new profile “Anonymization Agent”
- Add compatibility with iTop 3.1 - remove deprecated imports
- Update German translations
2022-02-09 1.2.0 Fix compatibility with iTop 3.0
2020-03-13 1.1.0 - Move menu entry to the new “Configuration” group
- Fix cannot anonymize list of objects
2018-07-04 1.0.1 N°1893 - Fix Person anonymization by cron
2018-07-04 1.0.0 First public version, fixes an issue in the menu creation for iTop 2.4.x.
2018-06-07 0.0.3 Bug fix: fixed the anonymization of case logs.
2018-06-06 0.0.2 Second version, compatibility extended to iTop 2.4.0.
2018-05-31 0.0.1 First version compatible with 2.5.x only
Two known errors with iTop 3.0 (fixed with iTop 3.0.1) :
  • Button label are not translated in anonymization confirmation,
  • Depending on your PHP configuration, a PHP warning could appear.


It is very difficult to guarantee an effective and complete anonymization of a person since the relations of this person can be used to (re) discover who this person was actually.

What this extension performs is actually called a “Pseudonymization”. Unless you are dealing with sensitive data (medical records, credit card numbers…) such a pseudonymization is generally considered as sufficient to protect the personal data in a business context. In the context of iTop, with extension such as Mail to Ticket Automation, the ticket description and caselog entries can contain the person signature, which if made of an image, will not be cleaned-up by this extension.


  • If the Person has changed email, name or firstname, its previous firstname name and email will remains in Case Logs and Notification after anonymization
  • If in your process, you delete the User or remove the link between User and Person instead of just inactivating the User, then the Person anonymization will be incomplete
  • If you deactivate the history tracking on caselogs, again the Person anonymization will be incomplete
  • If you have two persons with the same name and you anonymize one, then history entries and caselogs created when your iTop was in a version prior 3.0.0, will be anonymized regardless of which real person made them, because there is no mean to know. For entries created with an iTop 3.x, they will be anonymized based on the user_id, so homonyms are correctly handled.


Use the Standard installation process for this extension.



Don't start automatic anonymization on large database, before having prepared your database

Identify in which situation your are:

Environment Database One person anonymization delai
Small 1 000 000 ChangeOp, 150 000 NotificationEvent 5-10 seconds
Medium 10 000 000 ChangeOp, 2 000 000 NotificationEvent 1-3 min (*)
Large 50 000 000 ChangeOp, 7 000 000 NotificationEvent 3 - 50 min (*)

(*) Lowest numbers are obtained on optimized tables, highest numbers were on non-optimized tables.

  1. Test the anonymization action on a single representative contact, with debug activated to measure how much time it takes.
  2. Check how many Persons would need to anonymized, running this query (365 is just an example of configuration)
  3. If required, plan an iTop maintenance to optimize those 2 tables priv_changeop and priv_event_email
    or purge those tables to reduce their size, then optimize the tables (purge alone does not improve performance so much)

Query to perform to test the number of Persons you need to anonymize. Multiply by the time it takes for one person and determine how long it will take to cope with your backlog.

  SELECT Person WHERE anonymized = 0 AND obsolescence_flag = 1 AND obsolescence_date < DATE_SUB(NOW(), INTERVAL 365 DAY)


To activate the debug on this process, add in the Configuration file:

  'log_level_min' => [
    'AnonymizerLog' => LogAPI::LEVEL_DEBUG, 
    'BackgroundTaskExLog' => LogAPI::LEVEL_DEBUG

When Debug log level is activated, debug logs are written to log/anonymizer.log
Be cautious, this log contains Person data in clear text, so the log should be deleted, once the troubleshooting is over.


Once your database is prepared, you can configure the automatic anonymizations (performed by a background task) using the “Configuration / Anonymization” menu:

Configuration Menu for Anonymization

Configuration screen for the Automatic Anonymization

Those parameters are configured with a nice GUI:

Automatic parameter Purpose Default value
anonymize_obsolete_persons Is the background anonymization process activated? false
obsolete_persons_retention Number of days -1 means no background processing
Anonymize Person obsoleted since more than this number of days
time Starting time for the anonymization background process 00:30
end_time Ending time for the anonymization background process 05:30
week_days Weekdays during which the anonymization background process will be triggered monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday, sunday

If enabled, the anonymization background task will run as many times as required during the allowed periods and automatically anonymize the obsolete contacts based on the delay defined by the configuration.

Anonymization tasks

  • Tasks are created, updated then deleted by the Anonymization processing.
  • There is one Task per Person pending anonymization. When the Task has started, a set of predefined actions are created and the fields replacement patterns are stored in the task. When an action is completed, it is deleted. When all actions are completed, the Task is deleted.
  • Tasks are used to keep track of the progress and determine from where to start the next time the background task is launched by the cron.php.
  • Tasks are not supposed to be modified by a human!
Anonymization Tasks: also it seems possible to create a new Task, pressing that link will crash iTop.


By default, the extension comes with module parameters, not visible in the Configuration File.
It includes pretty advanced parameters which in general don't need to be changed.
Nevertheless, as any Module Parameter, they can be overwritten in the Configuration File / Module Settings.

Parameter Purpose Default value
init_chunk_size Queries use chunk_size, if the query is very quick, next run use chunk_size * 2
If the query never returns or is too slow, next run uses chunk_size / 2
This value is used as a start for each action
1 000 000
max_execution_time Should be lower than cron_max_execution_time
After that delay, background task stops and wait for next run of the cron
max_interactive_anonymization_time_in_s Delay in second for a manual anonymization execution, if exceed, the rest will be performed in background.
It's totally independent of the max_execution_time
caselog_content Describe which fields are searched and replaced in the caselog
Cautious, here friendlyname means always firstname lastname, nothing else
array( 0 => 'friendlyname', 1 => 'email' )
notification_content Describe which fields are searched and replaced in the notification
Cautious, here friendlyname means always firstname lastname, nothing else
array( 0 => 'friendlyname', 1 => 'email')
anonymized_fields Define the syntax to anonymize each field
%1$s is a placeholder for the Person id
  'name' => 'Contact %1$s', 
  'first_name' => 'Anonymous',
  'email' => 'Anonymous.Contact%1$s@anony.mized'


This extension adds a new custom action “Anonymize” in the “Other Actions” menu on the Person class.

Anonymize One Contact

After a confirmation message, the person is anonymized and the result is displayed:

 Contact anonymized

All the relations beween the person and the other objects are preserved, but:

  • The history of the person object is cleared (with just an entry showing that this person has been anonymized)
  • The case log headers (in all the classes which contain a case log) are purged for any reference to the name of this person
  • The history entries (for the changes made by the user account associated with this person) are purged from the name of the person.

The same action can be performed on a list (but the list MUST be a list of Persons only)

 Anonymize all

If you have chosen (in the “Preferences” menu) not to display the obsolete items, the list of anonymized contacts will appear empty after the anonymization has been performed, because all contacts are now 'inactive' and thus marked has obsolete.


Synchro Replica

Question: Some Person are not anonymized, why?
Answer: A possible root cause is that you have a Synchro Replica linked to that Person, which lock the fields that the extension is trying to anonymize. This cannot be address by the extension, so as long as iTop core has not fixed this issue, you will have to cope with it.

  • If you have a DataSynchro which loads Person but do not delete them when no more in the source, the Person in iTop remains lock by the Replica, so the Anonymize function fails silently.
  • To solve this, you must delete the replicas associated to that Person.
    • You can Run Query, with this OQL, specifying the Person id
SELECT SynchroReplica AS sr JOIN Person AS p ON WHERE /* Where xxxx is the id of the Person to anonymize */ 
  • then the action “Delete” on the resulting list

Other strategy, a function could be added to the Person class, then with an iPopupMenuExtension or Hyperlinks configurator, use it to manually resolve the issue, Person by Person.

protected function PurgeSynchroData()
    $aSynchroData = $this->GetSynchroData();
    $bStillActive = false;
    foreach($aSynchroData as $iSourceId => $aReplicas) {
        foreach($aReplicas['replica'] as $oReplica) {
            if ($oReplica->Get('status') == 'obsolete') {
            } else {
                $bStillActive = true;
    return !$bStillActive;

History entries

Question: Some history entries are not anonymized, why?
Answer: A lot of specific events can lead to an unperfect anonymization process

To be able to retrieve the root cause, you will have to dig into the process.

For a given Person, the anonymization process consists in:

  • Person
    • clearing all non-mandatory fields
    • filling mandatory fields with predefined values (containing the person_id so it remains unique)
    • marking the contact as “inactive”
    • clearing the history of the Person, with just one history entry remaining to indicate that this contact was anonymized.
  • Disable associated Users
  • For all History entries done by this Person (1*)
    • replacing the firstname + lastname in all CMDBChange records by its anonymized name.
  • For each Caselog which were changed by this Person = There is an history entry on this caselog made by this Person (caselog history tracking must be activate for this to work)
    • replacing the firstname lastname in all case log headers by a string of “*”
  • For each Notification, linked to an object which was modified by this person, the email in TO, CC and BCC is anonymized

(1*): To identify entries done by a person depends if the history entry was created with an iTop prior to 3.0.0 or after:

  • Entries generated prior 3.0.0, have no user_id field, they only have a user info hardcoded to “firstname + lastname” (It is not the friendlyname of a Person)
  • From 3.x, entries do have a user_id and in that case the anonymization only relies on the user_id
The change history of entries generated before your iTop is running in 3.x, contains only the firstname lastname of the person who made the change. As a result, if you have two persons with the exact same name and you anonymize one, old history entries from both persons will be anonymized.
If a person name changes, then history and caselog headers entries related to its former name won't be anonymized.

Debug log

Question: I have activated the debug log, but I am lost with what it says?
Answer: This log reports the execution result of the various tasks which are performed for each anonymized person:

ActionResetPersonFields Empty the fields of the Person which need to be anonymized

Provide the anonymous fields which will be used for replacement
14542 is the id of the anonymized Person

>>> Anonymization of Person::14542 started
    'friendlyname' => 'Anonymous Contact 14542',
    'email' => 'Anonymous.Contact14542@anony.mized',

Parse the classes in your data model that do have a caselog:

Query max id for organization: 2561
Query max id for customercontract: 876
Query max id for ticket: 30074
  • For each class, create a temporary table with all changes in the history related to a caselog of that class, made by the person (The ChangeOp made by this Person are higher than the Person creation ChangeOp, in the below example 151303)
CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE `priv_temporary_ids_7acb6e651943533d7376c708cb2d7da4` (SELECT DISTINCT `CMDBChangeOp`.`objkey`
    FROM `itop_combodo_priv_changeop` AS `CMDBChangeOp`
    INNER JOIN `itop_combodo_priv_change` AS `CMDBChange` ON `CMDBChangeOp`.`changeid` = `CMDBChange`.`id`
        WHERE `CMDBChangeOp`.`optype` = 'CMDBChangeOpSetAttributeCaseLog'
          AND `CMDBChangeOp`.`objclass` = 'Organization'
          AND `CMDBChange`.`userinfo`  = 'firstname lastname'
          AND `CMDBChangeOp`.`id` >= 151303 AND `objkey` >= 0 AND `objkey` <= 2561)
  • Then update the objects of that class which caselogs have been touched by the person
UPDATE `organization` INNER JOIN `priv_temporary_ids_7acb6e651943533d7376c708cb2d7da4` ON `organization`.`id` = `priv_temporary_ids_7acb6e651943533d7376c708cb2d7da4`.`objkey` 
`name` = REPLACE(REPLACE(`name`, 'Marie Randretsa', 'Anonymous Contact 5766'), '', 'Anonymous.Contact5766@anony.mized') ,
`code` = REPLACE(REPLACE(`code`, 'Marie Randretsa', 'Anonymous Contact 5766'), '', 'Anonymous.Contact5766@anony.mized') ,
`status` = REPLACE(REPLACE(`status`, 'Marie Randretsa', 'Anonymous Contact 5766'), '', 'Anonymous.Contact5766@anony.mized') ,  
`description` = REPLACE(REPLACE(`description`, 'Marie Randretsa', 'Anonymous Contact 5766'), '', 'Anonymous.Contact5766@anony.mized') ,  
`caselog` = REPLACE(REPLACE(`caselog`, 'Marie Randretsa', '***************'), '', '***************************') ,  
`caselog_index` = REPLACE(`caselog_index`, 'Marie Randretsa', '***************')  ,  

Manual anonymization

Question: I have manually anonymized a Person, but it's not completely done?
Answer: If the manual anonymization process exceed a certain duration, the rest of the required Tasks are recorded in database and will only be processed during the anonymization period defined in the configuration.

A good practice would be to archive then delete Tickets related to anonymized caller.
extensions/combodo-anonymizer.txt · Last modified: 2023/01/02 17:15 (external edit)
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