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Do You Collect Any Personally Identifiable Information in Your Research? 

Secure Data Types--PII

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. Any information that can be used to distinguish one person from another and can be used for de-anonymizing anonymous data can be considered PII. Personal information that is “de-identified” (maintained in a way that does not allow association with a specific person) is not considered sensitive. PII does not include publicly available information that is lawfully made available to the public from federal, state, or local government records. 

Examples of PII:  

  • Name: full name, maiden name, mother’s maiden name, or alias 
  • Personal information: Identification numbers: social security number (SSN), passport number, driver’s license number, taxpayer identification number, patient identification number, financial account, or credit card number.
  • Information identifying personally owned property: VIN number or title number 

How can you ensure your PII data stays secure? 
OIT provides a list of tools that are permitted and supported for use with PPI information along with tools that should be avoided.   

Learn more about Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on the Guide to Sensitive Information Research website.