What is Not Considered Personally Identifiable Information Under the Privacy Act?
- Compliance, Privacy, Website Development

What is Not Considered Personally Identifiable Information Under the Privacy Act?

What is not considered personally identifiable information under the Data Protection Act? Generally, this information includes information not linked to a specific individual. Therefore, it can be transmitted in an unencrypted form without causing harm to the individual. Linkable information is information about an individual that can be logically linked to other information. Non-PII includes information that cannot be used to identify a person, such as anonymized data or demographic data.

Non-sensitive PII

PII is classified as either sensitive or non-sensitive based on its potential to cause harm. Non-sensitive PII includes first and last names, business e-mail addresses, gender, race, and other characteristics that do not directly relate to an individual’s personal identifiable information. Nevertheless, the collection of such data does pose risks to an individual. That’s why awardees must implement policies to protect non-sensitive PII.

Organizations that collect sensitive PII must abide by several regulations. These include Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). In addition, organizations must abide by numerous international laws governing how they collect, use, and disclose sensitive PII, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Some Federal agencies keep records on individuals, including their medical, financial transactions, and employment history. In addition, an individual’s name, an identifying number, symbol, or other identifying characteristic appears in these records. In compliance with the Privacy Act, these records may be disclosed to third parties for non-sensitive purposes. In such cases, federal agencies must comply with all requirements and abide by the penalties under the Act.

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Non-personal data

In law, non-personal data is information that does not directly relate to a specific individual. For instance, a credit card number can be linked to an individual, but a Google Maps search can’t. In addition, there are varying levels of privacy protections for different types of non-personal data. Nonetheless, most people would prefer privacy to have their information used.

Personal data may be either subjective or objective. It may also be non-traditional, such as a drawing by a child of his family. This drawing may reveal information about a child’s mental health and the mental state of the child’s parents. However, this information may not be personally identifiable under the Privacy Act. For instance, a customer may not know how many other people are employed by the company.

Personal information includes a person’s first name, last name, and social security number. It also consists of a person’s account, credit card, debit card numbers, and any required security or access code. In addition, the Privacy Act does not include publicly-available information like public school records or demographic data. However, it does require specific data elements that can identify an individual. If a person can combine the information from multiple sources, that individual is considered a “person.”

Unencrypted data

PII, or personally identifiable information, is data that can be used to determine a person’s identity. It can be either alone or in combination with other information. This information may be confidential or sensitive, depending on the harm or inconvenience it could cause. Some types of PII are more sensitive than others. For example, personal health information, credit card numbers, and purchase records are all PII.

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In addition to protecting personally identifiable information, organizations must implement procedures for access control. Best practices include strong encryption, secure passwords, and two-factor authentication. Individuals should use secure passwords, store their Social Security cards safely, and make online purchases from certain sites. Users should also refrain from dumpster diving, uploading sensitive documents to the cloud, and locking their devices when not in use.

Information that can be transmitted in an unencrypted form without resulting in harm to the individual

Some PII is sensitive, while others are not. The former category includes information that can be easily obtained from public records, phone books, corporate directories, or websites. Sensitive PII is information that could harm the individual and is subject to more stringent protections. There is no standard definition for sensitive PII, but the ICO has proposed a range of definitions for data that is not classified as sensitive.

When can access to PII be denied to an individual? If it is a request to obtain access to PII stored in the public domain, the requesting individual can use a ‘lawful purpose’ to deny access to the information. For example, the government cannot deny access to PII based on concerns about psychological harm or physical injury.

What is Not Considered Personally Identifiable Information Under the Privacy Act?

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