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Creation of Personal Information 

What Is the Creation of Personal Information?

The creation of personal information is the act of generating new data that identifies an individual or can be linked to an identifiable individual. It can also be the act of deriving data from existing data. 

Personal information creation can occur in various contexts and involves the formal association of specific details with a person, thus creating identifiable personal records. 

Third-party definition 

The act of assigning information to an identifiable person. – Government of Canada 

Examples of Personal Information Creation 

Some examples of (new) personal information creation include:

  • Government IDs. When a government body issues an identification number to a citizen.
  • Health records. When a healthcare provider assigns a medical record number to a new patient, creating a file that includes personal health information linked specifically to that individual.
  • Financial accounts. When a bank creates an account number for a new customer, associating transaction and financial behavior data with that person.

Data Analytics and the Creation of Personal Information 

The creation of personal information can also occur as a result of data analytics. 

This can happen when an organization analyzes a broad set of non-identifying data and, through this analysis, the data becomes identifiable or can reasonably be linked to an individual. 

Additionally, the insights gained about an individual through data analytics can generate new types of personal information. For example, by analyzing someone’s online purchasing behavior and web browsing history, an organization might infer personal preferences and characteristics, creating new personal information. 

This process highlights how new personal information can be formed from existing data. 

Risk of personal information through inference

Data inference can lead to the creation of personal information that might be incorrect yet treated as accurate by organizations. 

Consumers should be aware that not all information derived or inferred by companies is a perfect reflection of who they are, and this can impact them negatively (for example, affecting credit scores or the types of ads targeted towards them).