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Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
Federal agencies are required by law to ensure the protection of the personally identifiable information (PII) that they collect, store, and transmit. Protection of the Government’s vast accumulation of personal information begins with the responsibility of federal employees at all levels and in all positions.

PII is any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an agency, including identifying information, education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history.

As a general observation, privacy is not determined by the presence or absence of a social security number. When two pieces of personally identifiable information can be connected, (name and date of birth; name and social security number, etc) it constitutes a privacy record and this record requires protection. Thus, removing the social security number alone from a file does not necessarily ensure privacy.

The following list provides examples of types of PII:
  1. Social Security Number (or other identifying number originated by the Government)
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Photographic Identifier (e.g., picture, photo image, X-ray, and video)
  4. Biometric Identifier (e.g., fingerprint and voiceprint)
  5. Drivers license number
  6. Certificates (birth, death, and marriage)
  7. Mother's Maiden Name
  8. Home Postal and Mailing Address
  9. Home Phone Numbers
  10. Education Records
  11. Personal E-mail Address
  12. Certain Employment Information (Private Sector - salary, and evaluations)
  13. Medical Records and Notes (e.g., prognosis, prescriptions, treatments related to an individual, and device identifiers)
  14. Financial Account Numbers (e.g., checking account and personal identification number (PIN))
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