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Personal Identifying Information (PII) & Personal Background Checks

by Tom Ahearn 6/4/2009 10:32:00 AM

In a series of articles, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) takes an in-depth look at the impact identity theft has on individuals and society. The first part discusses the easy availability of Personal Identifying Information (PII) for identity theft.

From birth to death, everyone leaves a trail of Personal Identifying Information. What exactly is PII? The most recognized forms are:

  • Name
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Date of Birth
  • Driver's License Number
  • Birth Certificate

Besides these obvious choices, the federal Identity Theft & Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 states that a person’s PII – or “means of identification” – may also include any of the following:

  • Alien Registration Number
  • Government Passport Number
  • Employer or Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Unique Biometric Data (fingerprint, voice print, retina/iris image)
  • Unique Electronic Identification Number, Address, or Routing Code
  • Telecommunication Identifying Information or Access Device

The many forms of PII – and their prolific use in everyday life – make the task of controlling personal information next to impossible, and the chance for identity theft much greater. Since everyone with PII is vulnerable to identity theft, that Personal Identifying Information should be monitored as frequently as possible to expose any wrongdoing and lessen the risk of identity theft. One way this can be done with a "personal background check," which is a background check that individuals perform on themselves. Personal background checks, like background checks run by employers, reveal an individual's personal information. – a leading supplier of personal background checks for individuals – helps consumers view, monitor, and protect their PII. By requesting a personal background check, individuals are empowered with control of their own personal information. For more information on personal background checks to protect PII from identity theft, please visit, email, or call 1-800-503-2364.

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