Personal Data

Personal Data

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You hear us talk a lot about your personal data. What is it and how does it relate to your digital identity?

11 January 2022

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Personal Data

We talk about your personal data a lot. How it makes up your digital identity, how valuable it is, how you should protect it, and most importantly – how it is yours.

So, just in case you’re unsure, we thought we’d talk about what personal data actually is.

Personal data is any information that relates to an individual that is identifiable. Put simply, your personal data is information that can be attributed to you or identify who you are.

Personal data identifiers are wide and varied, but some examples are:

  • Your name
  • Your location
  • Your ID numbers, for example, your passport number
  • Biometric data, meaning your fingerprint or face ID
  • Health data, such as genetics
  • Your racial or ethnic origin
  • Your sexual orientation

The list goes on.

Personal data is important to organisations. From your doctor who needs access to a large amount of your personal data when treating you, to your favourite clothing brand who needs to know where to deliver your new boots.

However, organisations also often use your personal data for profiling. This is where organisations use personal data like search history or purchase history to create a profile for you, specifically. Organisations do this mostly for marketing purposes, but the reasons are varied. For example, a clothing site may realise you view brown shoes all the time, but never black shoes. They’ll use this information to promote all the brown shoes on their site to you. Another example would be Netflix, who will use your viewing history to suggest new shows they think you’ll enjoy.

Because of GDPR laws, organisations always need your explicit consent to use your personal data. You always have the right to object to your personal data being used if you don’t want it to be, you can find out how here.

It’s really important you know who has access to your personal data, what they’re using it for, and how they’re storing it. Most cases of identity fraud begin with a data leak – this is when an organisation is attacked, and fraudsters get hold of the personal data being stored about customers.

Most importantly, your personal data is just that – yours. You should feel comfortable and confident in the knowledge that you have control over what your personal data is used for, and our mission with OneID® is to help you get there.

To learn more about your personal data, visit the Which consumer site.