Keep Customer Data Confidential with PII Masking

  • UPDATED: 21 July 2023
  • 4 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Personal Identifiable Information (PII) helps brands identify specific individuals and distinguish them from others. PII is unique to each customer and contains vital information such as their phone number, email ID, social security details, credit card number, and more.

Data protection regulations like GDPR require brands to keep PII data confidential to protect customer identities. According to the Federal Trade Commission, imposter fraud is the second most common type of fraud that could lead to financial losses for customers.

Brands must be vigilant about protecting and using customer data. They must be careful about storing, processing, and managing data points to meet legal requirements. Failure to comply with PII protection and privacy could attract expensive lawsuits, damage reputation, and lose customers.

At the same time, PII is also valuable information that can make your communication more personalized and effective. But where do you draw the line between visible PII and protected PII? Would it help if you could create campaigns without exposing PII to unauthorized members?

Introducing Our Latest Feature: PII Masking

PII Masking enables you to mark any customer or event attribute as PII. Marked attributes are not visible or downloadable for unauthorized members.

This is an image of masked PII
PII Masking hides sensitive data from unauthorized members

PII Masking allows authorized members to have visibility to the masked PII attribute. Unauthorized members see a masked view that tells them PII is available but not visible.

Admins can define customer and event attributes as PII and restrict access to unauthorized viewers, including the MoEngage team.

This is an image depicting PII Marking
Admins can mark any attribute as ‘PII’ to be masked

Why did we build PII Masking?

At MoEngage, we’re always striving to put the customer first in everything we do. With this goal, we spoke to customers to understand the kinds of challenges they were facing, such as:

We’ve built the PII Masking feature to help brands solve these issues and maintain customer data privacy while engaging them via personalized campaigns.

When Should You Use PII Masking?

PII Masking benefits strictly regulated industries like banking, insurance, and healthcare. Let’s take an example of a relationship or product manager who may want to send a welcome text to their customer.

In a typical scenario, they will log in to the MoEngage platform and add details like a customer’s account number, phone number, social security number, etc. This could expose the customer’s details to vulnerabilities, leading to severe offenses like identity theft and financial fraud.

With PII masking, the relationship or product manager can mark sensitive information as PII. This data will automatically be marked as private and won’t be visible to unauthorized team members, who can see that a datapoint exists but can’t view it.

This is an image of masked PII
Unauthorized members can see that a datapoint exists but can’t access it

This allows brands to engage with customers without worrying about data breaches. The benefits of PII masking are industry-agnostic, and this feature can be used by:

  • Banking and Fintech companies: BFSI brands always have access to sensitive customer information such as bank account numbers, transaction history, or credit score, which must be hidden unless required.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare and health tech brands keep records of a customer’s list of medical illnesses or treatments, medication, and mental health status. Such sensitive information needs the highest levels of protection.
  • Media and Entertainment: Music and video streaming apps can use this feature to mask mobile numbers and provide access to specific teams like customer care and marketing, who require it to engage with customers.
  • Retail and E-commerce: Retail and E-commerce brands can use this feature to mask customer address details and provide access only to delivery and customer care teams.
  • Ed-tech: Ed-tech brands deal with a lot of sensitive information, especially when the audience consists of minors. Brands can use the PII masking feature to keep a minor’s information hidden and protected from misuse.
  • Legal/ Law firms – Legal firms and advisors also deal with highly sensitive information and need to ensure complete client privacy and the privacy of information in open cases. When legal professionals are obtaining information through public records and are working on their legal actions, all information pertaining to individuals in the private, public, and government sectors need to be kept safe. PII masking ensures that this information is private and visible only to authorized individuals.

Every industry that stores sensitive information such as passport numbers or other identification numbers and quasi-identifiers or pseudo-identifiers such as gender and postal code will benefit from this feature.

Getting Started with PII Masking

This feature is available for all customers globally. If you’re an existing customer, reach out to your favorite MoEngage Customer Success team member. If you’re new to MoEngage and want to use the PII masking feature, drop an email to [email protected] or get in touch.

Further Reading

  1. What Is Apple Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) and How Will It Affect You?
  2. Perks of Customer-Centricity and How a Data-driven Approach Can Help
  3. What is the CCPA and how it affects you