What is PII ?
PII or Personally Identifiable Information stands for personal information of each user which is subject to advertising. It’s data that can be used to uniquely identify, contact, and distinguish consumers.
When advertising first gained popularity, PII was only comprised of someone’s full name, address and phone number. However, with technology advancing, policymakers implemented broader definitions which include IP addresses, cookie IDs and mobile IDs.
Marketers and advertisers are generally allowed to collect PII from users, as long as they have their permission. However, the regulatory process is long, so non-PII information like cookie data is used for targeting and personalization instead. Examples of non-PII information handled in advertising include: device ID, device type, cookie data (visited sites and how consumers used them), browser type and plug-in information, referring site, date and time, local time zone, language preference, and others.
Additionally, marketers can also anonymize sensitive information such as email addresses by turning it into random numerical combinations.