WPWorld and Data Encryption - Personally Identifiable Information

Created by WpWorld Support, Modified on Thu, 15 Feb 2024 at 02:03 PM by WpWorld Support

Encryption and storage of PII

This section includes more details about how PII data is encrypted, how it is stored differently to other data, and what its limitations are.

How encryption is applied to the data:

  • All fields marked as PII are automatically migrated to be stored encrypted in the collection with a unique encryption key.
  • Data in the field is stored encrypted using AES with a 256bit site encryption key.
  • Encryption is applied immediately (and affects both Live and Staging).
    Note: While the encryption process begins immediately, it may still take some time to complete depending on the size of data being encrypted. However, while encryption takes place behind the scenes - you can continue to work with your site's data as normal.
  • Access to data automatically returns the decrypted data in the same manner as for other fields.
  • Export data can be used to work with the  data locally or import it to a designated. system. Regardless of the method, it is not advised that you retain large lists of PII locally on your workstation.
  • All data backups are encrypted in full using the same site key, regardless of any PII data.

Limitations of PII encrypted data:

  • PII encryption does not protect data in a WordPress Databases if that data is exposed via permission misconfiguration - be sure to set collection permissions properly. 
  • PII encrypted fields have limited capabilities for searching via code or via CMS.
  • Once a data piece is marked as a PII encrypted field, it disables some functionalities from that field, such as sorting and querying operations other than "eq", i.e. query by exact-match only, for that field.

PII that can be considered public

PII data is not necessarily private information. For example, a site’s owner can display their employees' private home telephone numbers, which are available in the phone book; however, those numbers should be considered as PII.
For an example like this, it is not necessary to use PII encryption, as it is considered public data.

PII in relation to GDPR

Among other rights, customers have the right to access or delete their data at any time under GDPR (and similar privacy laws such as the LGPD and CCPA). With WPWorld, you can provide your site visitors with access to their data or the right to delete their data from your database entirely.
As a site owner, it is your responsibility to reply and allow your site visitors to exercise their right to access and delete their data. Likewise, if you receive a delete request, you must ensure that all their data is deleted. Learn more
It's important to note that when a site visitor requests access to their data (where they are supplied with a data file), or to have their data deleted, there is certain data that is not included in either the accessed data file or the deleted data. This includes data about site visitors and members collected by custom flows such as forms, or data stored in a custom flow in a collection.
Important:Marking your data as PII and using the encryption tool may not guarantee compliance with other legislations, such as The U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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