Sensitive Information

Definition - What does Sensitive Information mean?

Sensitive information, in the context of employment and employee wellness, refers to information about the individual that is unique to that individual. Sensitive information may include information related to personal identification, such as an individual Social Security number, past or present physical or mental condition, or an employee’s health risk assessment. Sensitive information is also called sensitive data, or sensitive personal information. Some sensitive information is protected by government regulation.

WorkplaceTesting explains Sensitive Information

It is important to note that not all sensitive information is considered protected information by various state and federal agencies. The use and protection of protected sensitive information is governed by federal and state laws and regulations. In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security identifies sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) as information that if revealed, “could result in substantial harm, embarrassment, inconvenience, or unfairness to an individual.” The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) refers specifically to protected health information, or information related to an individual’s past or present health that can be reasonably identified with or linked to that individual. Employers and other handlers of sensitive information are expected to follow careful procedures to ensure the protection of this information.

Note that other countries may have slightly different legal definitions and rules around what constitutes private or sensitive information, and how it must be handles.

This definition was written in the context of employment and employee wellness
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