Working Remotely and Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

This guide will walk you through what constitutes PII and what you need to do if you are accessing PII from home.

What is Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?

Personally Identifiable Information, or PII, is any information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, such as their name, social security number, biometric records, etc. alone, or when combined with other personal or identifying information which is linked or linkable to a specific individual, such as date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc.

Examples include:

  • Name: full name, maiden name, mother’s maiden name, or alias
  • Personal identification numbers: social security number (SSN), passport number, driver’s license number, taxpayer identification number, patient identification number, financial account number, or credit card number
  • Personal address information: street address, or email address
  • Personal telephone numbers
  • Personal characteristics: photographic images (particularly of face or other identifying characteristics), fingerprints, or handwriting
  • Information identifying personally owned property: VIN number or title number
  • Asset information: Internet Protocol (IP) or Media Access Control (MAC) addresses that consistently link to a particular person

The following items on their own are not considered PII, as many people can share the same traits. However, if one of the following is used to identify a specific person (in combination with one of the examples above) they are considered PII.

  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Business telephone number
  • Business mailing or email address
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Geographical indicators
  • Employment information
  • Medical information – subject to HIPAA requirements
  • Education information – subject to FERPA requirements
  • Financial information

I have access to PII. What now?

It is important that you only access PII through a computer owned by CalArts. If you have taken home your work desktop or laptop, you are already good to go!

What about my personal computer?

You should not be accessing PII though your personal computer. Instead, CAIT will be happy to set you up with a loaner laptop to take home.

Alternatively, since our loaner laptops are in such high demand, we can also get you set up with a remote solution, such as RealVNC, so that you can access your work computer from off-campus.

Additional Questions?

Feel free to contact us at or by phone at (661)253-7887.


August 18, 10:49 AM Initial Post

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