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What are methods for safeguarding PII?

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Quick Answer

Personally identifiable information, known as PII, is safeguarded by various methods, including managing physical and logical access to such information; regulating the collection, transport, use and disclosure of PII; and compliance with all applicable security policies, according to the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. General Services Administration.

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Full Answer

Several pieces of legislation such as The Privacy Act of 1974 and the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 require federal agencies to safeguard any PII placed in their custody through the development and implementation of policies and procedures for its employees, contractors and the public that minimize the risk of such information being misused, according to the GSA. In the context of health information, certain key elements of PII are safeguarded as protected health information, according to the University of Miami Health System.

The encryption of PII data during storage and transmission, mechanisms to prevent and report security breaches, as well as training about what constitutes personally identifiable information are some of the safeguards recommended by the GSA and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. These safeguards often involve multiple steps such as the implementation of procedures to prevent the physical manipulation or theft of patient and employee PII records and training to identify and restrict access to individual patient information that is covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, according to the University of Miami Health System.

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