Information that, on its own or when combined with other data, can be used to identify an individual person in the real world.
PII can be divided into two categories: linked information and linkable information.
Linked information is any piece of personal information that can be used to identify an individual and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Full name
- Home address
- Email address
- Social security number
- Passport number
- Driver’s license number
- Credit card numbers
- Date of birth
- Telephone number
- Internet protocol (IP) address
Linkable information, on the other hand, is information that on its own may not be able to identify a person, but when combined with another piece of information could identify, trace, or locate a person.
PII is a term used in the US, with personal data being a predominantly European term with a few slight differences in meaning.