As a company you are responsible for the personal data of your customers and staff. You are legally required to protect the data and ensure it is handled correctly. It’s not always easy to determine what constitutes personal data.

It is important to know that the definition of personal information varies by country and legal jurisdiction. In general, personal information is any information that can be used to identify an individual. This includes data such as the name of the person, email address, or phone number, as well as any other data that can link to an individual and make them identifiable by their birth date mother’s maiden names, biometric data such as passport and visa information or credit card data, and other sensitive employment information (e.g. Performance ratings and discipline records).

In addition the information should be able to be identified by others. If it is very difficult for another person to identify the information, then it is not considered personal. This is the “practicability test”.

The final step in determining whether something is personal is that it must be related to a real, identifiable person. This does not apply to business documents like invoices, orders, or other business documents.

If sensitive personal information is lost or stolen, or if it is disclosed in any other manner without authorization, it could be very damaging. It is vital to educate employees on the importance of protecting sensitive PII. You should also make steps to secure the information even when it’s not being used, such as by logging off computers without supervision and destruction of paper records. It is crucial to review regularly the PII within your system and to limit access only to those who have a business reason to do so.

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