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I would like to store meta data about users.

At first this I tried by adding fields to the user, but this is not exactly what I want, because the user himself should not be able to manipulate or view the data.

The data I want to store is based on actions a users takes in the application. Its is similar to a status which I want to write and read programmatically. E.g. has the users phone number been validated by the system?

What is the best way to store such data?

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Fields are definitely the best method for storing this data.

You can combine fields with the Field Permissions module:

The Field Permissions module allows site administrators to set field-level permissions to edit, view and create fields on any entity.

With that module you'll be able to specify exactly which fields the user should be able to view/edit.

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