Differences Between PII and Biometric Data


Organizations wishing to secure their users’ data must first determine the data they want to protect. Personally Identifiable Information, or PII, is an established term in the United States, and it is the information used to track an individual’s identity. The GDPR of the European Union applies to personal data, which is information about a specific person. To learn more, consult an attorney at Sattiraju & Tharney today. 

The legal meaning of biometric information or identifiers differs from state to state. There is currently no comprehensive government regulation of biometric information. The government’s only federal privacy mechanism is Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which relates to unfair or misleading commercial actions or practices. 

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

PII is a vast set of data elements that may be used to trace down and identify a person. It may contain a person’s name, Social Security number, date of birth, home address, and email address, among other data.

This sort of personal information may be sought for the following reasons:

  • Medical data or history
  • Educational background and information
  • Credit scores and active credit cards
  • Employment history

As critical as it is to keep such information out of the public eye, identifying and safeguarding PII is even more important, as it can be used to access someone’s private information and place them at risk for abuse by others on a large scale.

Biometric data Biometric data is a subset of PII that refers to a person’s distinct physical or behavioral features that may be used to identify them. This often comprises fingerprints, face recognition data, iris scans, hand geometry, and voice recognition data.

The differences 

Biometric data is far more difficult to alter or forge than other sorts of PII. This makes it a more trustworthy and lucrative type of identification, which is why it is frequently employed in commercial security systems and timekeeping software.

Furthermore, biometric data can be gathered without the individual’s complete awareness or express written agreement, although most individuals are aware when another PII is being collected. Because of this disparity in understanding, it can be difficult for consumers to comprehend how their biometric data is being used and shared, raising several privacy issues. As a result, most states have approved laws to safeguard people’s biometric privacy rights. It is known as the Biometric Information Privacy Act, or BIPA.

What should you do if your biometric data is required?

An experienced employment attorney who understands the complexities of biometric privacy legislation can assist you in determining if your data was legally obtained. Employment Lawyers have vast knowledge in this new and challenging area of law. 


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