The exact process of deleting an Attribute depends on the kind of Attribute at hand. Creating an Attribute, we must distinguish between IdentityAttributes and RelationshipAttributes. In the former case, a so-called RepositoryAttribute is created, which is a LocalAttribute without shareInfo, that you are the owner of. Afterwards, you may share it with a peer, which yields the creation of an own shared IdentityAttribute. This is a LocalAttribute with the copied content of the RepositoryAttribute, but an additional shareInfo property. Doing so, also a LocalAttribute with the same content and a respective shareInfo is created for the peer, which is referred to as peer shared Attribute. In the case of RelationshipAttributes we have own shared and peer shared RelationshipAttributes analogeously, however, no unshared LocalAttributes like we have in the case of IdentityAttributes with RepositoryAttributes. These different kinds of Attributes have different demands that need to be taken into account, wanting to delete them.

In general, you can only delete data from your own wallet and never from the peer’s. So, for example you can delete Attributes a peer shared with you from your wallet, but you can’t delete Attributes you shared with a peer from their wallet. Wanting to do so, you need to send a Request to the peer, asking them to delete the respective Attribute. Note that this doesn’t automatically delete their Attribute, since the peer may have a valid reason to still keep it for a certain amount of time.

Request the deletion of own Attributes from peer

Wanting to delete a peer shared Attribute owned by you from the peer technically describes the endeavor of withdrawing the permission you gave them to use your Attribute. To this end, a Request must be used with a DeleteAttributeRequestItem. As a parameter, the attributeId of the peer shared Attribute you would like the peer to delete must be provided. Note, that the peer shared Attribute at the peer’s side has the same id like the own shared Attribute at your side. A possible Request for deleting a peer shared Attribute from a peer could look as follows:

{
  "@type": "Request",
  "items": [
    {
      "@type": "DeleteAttributeRequestItem",
      "mustBeAccepted": true,
      "attributeId": "<ID of peer shared Attribute>"
    }
  ]
}

Of course, it is also possible to request the deletion of multiple peer shared Attributes within a single Request. For this purpose, several DeleteAttributeRequestItems or suitable RequestItemGroups can be inserted into the items property of the Request.

Before sending the Request, we recommend to validate its content, since this will give you additional information in case of an error.

Next, send the Request to the peer. You can either do so by Message or by a RelationshipTemplate, using the onExistingRelationship property of a RelationshipTemplateContent. For a detailed explanation check out our guides on how to send Requests via Messages and Requests via RelationshipTemplates.

Once the peer received the Request, they can accept or reject it. If they want to accept it, they must use the AcceptDeleteAttributeRequestItemParameters. Doing so, they specify a deletionDate on which they plan to delete the peer shared Attribute. In the given example, the payload would look like the following:

{
  "items": [
    {
      "accept": true,
      "deletionDate": "<date the peer shared Attribute will be deleted>"
    }
  ]
}

Now, the enmeshed Runtime sets the deletionInfo of the corresponding peer shared Attribute of the peer with deletionStatus "ToBeDeleted" and the specified deletionDate. The same is done for all predecessors of the peer shared Attribute. Then, the appropriate DeleteAttributeAcceptResponseItem is generated and sent back in the Reponse to the Sender of the Request. There, the deletionInfo of the corresponding own shared Attribute and its predecessors is set with deletionStatus "ToBeDeletedByPeer" and the deletionDate received in the Response.

It is also possible for the peer to reject the DeleteAttributeRequestItem, if its mustBeAccepted property is set false, or to reject the Request for deleting a peer shared Attribute as a whole, if they have a valid reason for keeping the respective peer shared Attribute. In this case, the RejectRequestItemParameters must be used and it is advised to provide a message, informing the Sender of the Request about the reason not to delete the peer shared Attribute.

Delete peer shared Attributes

The actual deletion of a peer shared Attribute happens in a separate step. This can either be triggered if the deletionInfo.deletionDate is reached, in case the deletion was requested by the owner of the peer shared Attribute, or if the peer decides they no longer need it.

To delete a peer shared Attribute, only its attributeId must be specified. Internally, not just the given peer shared Attribute is deleted, but also all its predecessors, in case there were any. Moreover, if the peer shared Attribute had a successor, its succeeds property will be set to undefined, as the corresponding predecessor no longer exists. Then, a Notification with a PeerSharedAttributeDeletedByPeerNotificationItem is generated and sent to the owner of the peer shared Attribute, informing them that you deleted the Attribute they shared with you. Consequently, the deletionInfo of their corresponding own shared Attribute and of all potential predecessors is updated with deletionStatus "DeletedByPeer" and the time of receiving the Notification as deletionDate. In case the owner already deleted their own shared Attribute, nothing happens.

If you want to delete a RelationshipAttribute that is owned by a third party, i.e. neither you nor the peer you have the according Relationship with, the process will work analogously. In this case, a ThirdPartyOwnedRelationshipAttributeDeletedByPeerNotificationItem will be sent.

Delete own shared Attributes

The owner can always delete their LocalAttributes without having to ask for consent, even if there are shared copies of it. Hence, it is always possible to delete own shared Attributes. Doing so before the peer deleted their copy of the shared Attribute, however, you lose the information of having shared the Attribute with them and whether they keep their peer shared Attribute or delete it. Thus, we recommend to request the deletion of own Attributes from the peer before deleting them yourself.

If you decide to delete an own shared Attribute, you must specifiy its attributeId. Then, in addition to the own shared Attribute itself, also all its predecessors will be deleted, given there were any. Moreover, if the own shared Attribute had a successor, its succeeds property will be set to undefined, as the corresponding predecessor no longer exists. Then, a Notification with an OwnSharedAttributeDeletedByOwnerNotificationItem is generated and sent to the peer you shared the Attribute with, informing them that you deleted that own shared Attribute. If they already deleted their corresponding peer shared Attribute or marked it for deletion, nothing will change. However, if the deletionInfo of their peer shared Attribute was undefined before, since you didn’t send a Request for Attribute deletion or the Request was rejected, a deletionInfo will be set. Its deletionStatus will be set to "DeletedByOwner" and the deletionDate will be the time of receiving the Notification.

Delete RepositoryAttributes

Lastly, you can also delete RepositoryAttributes, i.e. LocalAttributes that are owned by yourself and whose shareInfo property is undefined. Analogously to the cases above, also all predecessors of the RepositoryAttribute with specified attributeId will be deleted. Additionally, the succeeds property of the successor will be removed in case of Attribute succession.

Furthermore, if there are any shared copies of the RepositoryAttribute, their shareInfo will be updated such that sourceAttribute doesn’t link to the deleted RepositoryAttribute anymore. As a consequence, the get shared versions of a RepositoryAttribute use case will no longer return those shared versions. Now, in case you shared a RepositoryAttribute with a peer, succeeded it without notifying the peer and then delete the source Attribute of the predecessor, you won’t be able to notify the peer about the succession of this no longer existing RepositoryAttribute anymore. Instead, if you want to inform them about a newer version of this RepositoryAttribute, you must share that version again.