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ISO/IEC 27555

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ISO/IEC 27555:2021 — Information security, cybersecurity and privacy protection — Guidelines on personally identifiable information deletion (first edition)



“This document contains guidelines for developing and establishing  policies and procedures for deletion of personally identifiable  information (PII) in organisations by specifying: a harmonized terminology for PII deletion; an approach for defining deletion rules in an efficient way; a description of required documentation; a broad definition of roles, responsibilities and processes. ...”
[Source: ISO/IEC 27555:2021]


This standard gives guidance on the deletion of Personally Identifiable Information using a systematic approach supporting ISO/IEC 29100’s “Privacy framework”.


Scope of the standard

The standard is intended for organisations that store and process PII “and other personal data”, in particular PII Controllers who are primarily accountable for compliance with privacy laws.

It does not address:

  • Specific provisions in laws and contracts (although it will reflect the general thrust of GDPR and other privacy laws and regulations based on the OECD privacy principles);
  • Specific deletion rules for particular types (“clusters”) of PII;
  • Deletion mechanisms such as those for cloud storage;
  • Security of the deletion mechanisms; nor
  • Specific techniques for de-identification (anonymisation) of data.

Standardizing the approach may facilitate harmonized catalogues of PII deletion rules for industrial sectors, clarifying requirements for IT systems processing personal data.


Content of the standard

In ~30 pages, the standard offers guidance on policies and procedures including:

  • Harmonised terminology for PII deletion;
  • An approach for defining efficient deletion/de-identification rules;
  • Required documentation; and
  • Roles, responsibilities and processes.



The standard was first published in 2021.


Personal notes

The standard discusses ‘clusters’ of PII, an intriguing yet complex concept relating to how PII is used for various business purposes.


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