Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Definition - What does Personally Identifiable Information (PII) mean?

Personally identifiable information (PII) is broadly defined as any information about an individual that might be used to steal or trace an individual's identity or otherwise pinpoint a specific individual from a specific piece of data. For example, PII may include not only a person's name and social security number but also their biometric records and place of birth. Any information that can be used to distinguish or be linked to the individual is personally identifiable information. Personally identifiable information may also be called sensitive personal information (SPI).

WorkplaceTesting explains Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

The federal government has issued policies and procedures for the protection of the personally identifiable information maintained by federal agencies and contractors. Those who have access to PII are expected to maintain the security of that information and protect the privacy of the individual identified. Information that must be secured under these policies includes any information that permits the identification of an individual either directly, though inference, or other indirect means. Any information, that when combined, can lead to the identification of an individual is included in the definition of PII. Additionally, other state and federal laws govern the protection of various types of PII including health records. An employer should be aware of both the federal and state laws governing the recording and maintenance of employee's personally identifiable information and implement processes to ensure compliance with those laws.

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