What is personal information?

Everyday examples can seem obvious, but there is a great deal more than people realise.

If asked for examples of our personal information many of us would offer name, address and phone number, perhaps an email address too. This is how people usually identify themselves and others as individuals. The laws on privacy classify all these as personal information, but a great deal more besides. In law, personal information is any information about specified individuals, or which identifies people as individuals, either directly or when added to other pieces of information.

This includes a lot of information given to organisations, as when you submit an email address to receive updates about offers or discounts, for example. But it also includes the technical data that is collected when you go online with a laptop or mobile, or when you browse websites or make purchases.

Lloyds Banking Group collects the first sort of information when a customer completes a form to apply for a credit card, for example. It collects the second sort when recording the date, time and location of a purchase made with one of its credit cards. This is done partly to make sure that top quality services are offered to all customers, but also to comply with regulations that apply to all banks.

When put together all this information can add up to a detailed picture of a person's life and behaviour. A benefit for customers is that this helps banks to spot unauthorised activity in an account and tackle fraud more effectively. It also makes it important that Lloyds Banking Group explains to customers what personal information it holds, when it's collected and why. For more detail see our Privacy Notice - it's worth a read.

Our privacy notice

This sets out how we protect your privacy. It covers the personal information that we have, where we get it, how we use it and who we share it with.

View full privacy notice