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What is personal information?

July 2019

A short video explains what types of information are considered personal information. This video complements our What is personal information content under the PIPEDA in Brief webpage.


View transcript

What is personal information?

Text appears on screen: What is personal information?

[On screen, in the background, there is a photo of a young female worker looking at her laptop screen]

Narrator: You need to protect the personal information your business holds. But what exactly is considered personal information?

[Icons of three people appear on the screen and a dotted line goes around them in a circle. This dotted circle turns into a solid yellow circle. The image of the three people flips over and a question mark appears.]

Narrator: It’s more than just a person’s name or address. It’s something that can identify a person—either on its own or when combined with other information.

[The previous image disappears and is replaced by an image of a smart phone. An icon of a person appears near the top of the phone’s screen. Lines appear under the person, representing other information.]

Narrator: It could be data that’s clearly private, such as medical records, passwords or credit card numbers.

[The images on the smart phone change from the person icon to an icon of a cross, representing medical information, then to asterisks representing a password and then to an image of a credit card with numbers on it.]

Narrator: But it might not be so obvious. Things like personal opinions, social status, or even an intention to buy something new are all considered personal information as well.

[The smart phone icon disappears and the credit card icon moves down on the screen and then disappears. It is replaced by a thumbs-up icon, followed by an icon representing two wedding rings and then finally a shopping cart. All three images stay on the screen together. Then the images disappear.]

Text on screen changes to say: It’s time to start thinking about what personal information your business holds.


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