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What is Personally Identifiable information (PII)? Definition

What is Personally Identifiable information (PII)? Definition

PII stands for Personally Identifiable Information, and it refers to any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. PII can include things like name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and more. In the age of big data, PII is more important than ever before. With so much information being collected about individuals, it’s important to know what PII is and how it should be protected. In this blog post, we will explore the definition of PII and why it’s important to keep your information safe.

What is PII?

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. This includes, but is not limited to, name, Social Security number, date of birth, home address, and biometric data. PII can be collected in a variety of ways, such as through online forms, surveys, or loyalty programs. In the United States, PII is regulated by the Privacy Act of 1974.

PII is a sensitive type of information that must be protected in order to maintain the individual’s privacy. Data breaches are a major concern when it comes to PII, as hackers can gain access to this information and use it for identity theft or other malicious purposes. Organizations that collect PII must take measures to secure this data, such as encrypting it and storing it in a secure database.

If you are ever unsure whether or not something qualifies as PII, err on the side of caution and treat it as if it does. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting someone’s personal information!

What are some examples of PII?

There are many examples of PII. Some common examples include:

• Name

• Address

• Social Security number

• Driver’s license number

• Passport number

• Credit card numbers

• Financial account numbers

• Biometric data (e.g., fingerprints, iris scans)

How is PII collected?

There are a number of ways that PII can be collected, including through online forms, surveys, and cookies. PII can also be collected offline, through paper forms or over the phone.

When collecting PII online, businesses will often use web forms. These forms may ask for your name, address, email address, phone number, and other information. Some forms may also use cookies to track your activity on the website and collect additional information about you.

Surveys are another common way of collecting PII. These may be conducted online or offline, and can include questions about your demographics, interests, and opinions.

Businesses may also collect PII through cookies. Cookies are small pieces of data that are stored on your computer when you visit a website. They can be used to track your activity on the site and collect information about you.

How is PII used?

PII is used in a variety of ways, most commonly to verify identity, obtain financial information, or access medical records. It can also be used to track an individual’s online activity or location.

When PII is used to verify identity, it is typically done through a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license or passport. This information can be used to open bank accounts, apply for credit cards, and sign legal documents.

Financial institutions often use PII to obtain information about an individual’s credit history or current financial status. This information is used to make decisions about whether to lend money or extend credit.

Medical records are another type of document that often contains PII. This information can be used by insurance companies to determine rates and coverage, and by employers to make decisions about hiring and promotion.

PII can also be used to track an individual’s online activity. This information can be collected through cookies placed on a user’s computer or through tracking software installed on their mobile device. This data is then sold to marketing firms who use it to target ads at specific demographics.

Similarly, PII can be used to track an individual’s location. This information is often collected through GPS-enabled devices such as phones and cars. It can be used for things like targeted marketing and crime prevention.

Who has access to PII?

Anyone who has access to an individual’s personal information can be considered to have access to PII. This includes, but is not limited to, family members, friends, employers, and government agencies. In many cases, these individuals may not even be aware that they have access to PII.

How is PII protected?

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. PII includes, but is not limited to, names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers, and driver’s license numbers.

Most companies have policies and procedures in place to protect PII from unauthorized access or disclosure. These may include physical security measures such as locked filing cabinets and restricted access to buildings, as well as technological measures such as password protection and encryption.

Conclusion

Personally identifiable information, or PII, is any data that can be used to identify an individual. This includes things like names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and more. PII can be sensitive or non-sensitive, but it’s important to protect all PII to prevent identity theft and fraud. There are a number of ways to protect PII, including encrypting data, storing data securely, and ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to it.

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