As the data, whether structured or unstructured keeps mushrooming, the number of cybersecurity attacks by people who realize the value of PII continues to climb. Consequently, concerns have been raised as to how private and public organizations handle confidential data.
Redacting information is one way of doing so. There is a certain compliance requirement for redaction such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that regulates privacy laws of any organization that collects PII from individuals, which is now a de facto standard worldwide. The Healthcare industry, which HIPPA mandates to protect PHI (Protected Health Information), is an example of a compliance requirement for redaction.
Compliance requirements in terms of unstructured data have kept on developing. So, properly redacting sensitive information is getting more challenging now. There comes the need for PII redaction software.
In this blog, we have given you an overview of personally identifiable information and its types while discussing a use case on how it can be used in identity theft. Furthermore, we have discussed why redaction is important for PII and how VIDIZMO as a PII redaction software helps.
What is PII?
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is the information when used as it is or with other relevant data that can identify a person. It has identifiers such as
- Direct identifier (e.g., account number) that can uniquely identify.
- Quasi-identifier (e.g., race) that can be combined with other relevant data such as (date of birth) to identify the person easily.
Fun fact, 87% of the U.S population are uniquely identified by quasi-identifier such as (date of birth, ZIP or gender).
Some people often confuse PII with personal data, and honestly, it's justifiable because the difference between these two is quite vague. It all comes down to the legal framework and whom the data is applied to.
Types of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
PII can be labeled into two types that are sensitive and non-sensitive Personally Identifiable Information. Sensitive PII data could potentially harm the individual when a security breach happens. Sensitive PII includes information such as
- Full name
- Credit card number
- Social security number
- Financial information
- Passport number and other private information
Indirect or non-sensitive information can be accessible via public sources like the internet, corporate directories or phonebooks. Examples include
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
The examples are quasi-identifiers that can be issued to the public, which alone couldn’t help in recognizing a certain person.
How Can PII Be Used in Identity Theft?
A number of organizations that are health-related, financial institutions like banks or federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), have confidential data that puts peoples’ PII at risk when breached.
Information identity thieves can hack your computers and gain access to different files and types of information. They can open bank accounts, register sim cards or file fraudulent claims with your personal information. In rare cases, convicts can open a bank account with just an email or over the phone; others require name, date of birth, address, social security number and others.
In addition to this, physical files such as bills, birth certificates or NIC can also be stolen when broken into the house. PII can be sold for a significant profit. Some thieves may not use the victims' credit card, but they can steal their identity and open a bank account from their biodata.
Why Is Redaction Important for PII? An Example
In order to tackle the issue mentioned above, you need to redact PII. When you redact PII, basically, you are censoring a part of the information, so it doesn’t steal yours or other’s identity. It helps an individual to maintain their privacy. The best practice is to use a tool that uses the latest technology and gives you full confidentiality; otherwise, even the poorly redacted documents can be breached somehow.
Read more in our blog on GDPR Requirements for Redaction.
Let’s take a real-world example. House Democrats publicly released some digital documents regarding the two attacks (2012) over U.S facilities in Libya. It was reported that the portion where Hillary Clinton's adviser, Sidney Blumenthal section was redacted but was viewable if it was copied from PDF version and pasted on another document.
The same tactic was applied in 2011 to access the redacted information about Apples’ business dealings. It is now a must when you want to redact PII; use a PII redaction software.
VIDIZMO As a PII Redaction Software
Want to get your business compliant with privacy laws quickly and redact PII with the help of AI? Look no further as VIDIZMO gives you the feature of redaction to comply with regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, California State Bills 748 and others. It allows users to automatically redact through AI thus saving time and resources. Pretty helpful for businesses and law enforcement agencies.
VIDIZMO redaction tool selects people, objects and other PII to redact them in a selected time frame. Furthermore, you can define custom attributes to redact PII, which will automate business processes as well. But why only redaction when you can do much more? VIDIZMO is a YouTube-like video content management system for the external and internal audience to stream live and on-demand videos. Upload, store, and manage effectively in a content library with full security and privacy because of role-based access. The platform can be used for multiple end-to-end use cases.
We can offer a tailored solution for redaction, contact our VIDIZMO representative, and make the most of our AI redaction feature.