This post was most recently updated on August 2nd, 2019
In this new age of ultra-connectivity, you may not know you are already giving out personal information to others, worse – you might already be giving out personal information of your users. We should make sure we are not sending out Personally Identifiable Information or PII.
PII is pretty much any data that could potentially identify a certain person. Anything that can be used to distinguish one person from another and can be used for de-anonymizing data can be considered PII.
PII can be classified as Sensitive or Non-sensitive. Non-sensitive PII can be easily gathered from public records, phone books, corporate directories, and websites. It can be transmitted through the unencrypted form without resulting in harm to the individual. Sensitive PII on the other hand, includes biometric information, medical information, personally identifiable financial information (PIFI) and unique identifiers such as passport or Social Security numbers. This could result in harm to the individual whose privacy has been breached.
According to Google policies, no data should be passed to Google that Google would recognize as personally identifiable information (PII) to protect user privacy:
“To protect user privacy, Google policies mandate that no data be passed to Google that Google could use or recognize as personally identifiable information (PII). PII includes, but is not limited to, information such as email addresses, personal mobile numbers, and social security numbers. Because laws across countries and territories vary, and because Google Analytics can be used in many ways, consult an attorney if you are in doubt whether certain information might constitute PII or not.”
When implementing Google Analytics, these practices could help you reduce the possibilities of sending PII.
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