PII stands for Personally Identifiable Information. This refers to any information that can be used on its own or in conjunction with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. It’s a critical concept in the field of information security and privacy laws.
PII can include direct identifiers, such as:
- Full name
- Email address
- Social security number
- Passport number
- Driver’s license number
- Credit card numbers
- Date of birth
- Telephone number
- Postal address
And also indirect identifiers, such as:
- Educational information
In the digital age, PII also includes digital identifiers like IP addresses, login IDs, social media posts, and digital images.
Organizations that handle PII are required to follow strict protocols to protect this information from being disclosed. This can include using secure networks, encryption, and other security practices. Regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the European Union and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) in the United States, provide guidelines for the protection of PII. These rules require organizations to protect this information and provide certain rights to individuals regarding their personal data.