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Why Financial Institutions Should Partner with NLP Companies for PII Detection

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any information that can be used to identify an individual, such as their name, address, social security number, or date of birth. Financial institutions are required to protect PII by law, and they have the responsibility to ensure that this information is not lost, stolen, or misused.

Financial institutions handle vast amounts of sensitive data, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Safeguarding this data is not only a legal imperative but also crucial for maintaining customer trust and complying with data protection regulations like GDPR and CCPA.

Today, we will explore why financial institutions should partner with NLP companies like Pangeanic to fine-tune AI models for anonymization and other essential services such as document and email classification, summarization, and knowledge extraction. By doing so, financial institutions can bolster their data privacy efforts, enhance operational efficiency, and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements. 


Recommended reading: 

The Difference between PII and GDPR’s Personal Data




In recent years, there has been a growing trend of financial institutions partnering with Natural Language Processing (NLP) companies to help them with PII detection. NLP companies have developed sophisticated AI models that can identify PII in a variety of documents, including emails, contracts, and financial reports. The trend, however, tends to avoid large AI players with “AutoML” features because of the fear that private client data may end up as just more training data to fuel the big tech’s algorithms. 


Reasons to Partner with a Privacy-Conscious NLP Company  

There are several reasons why financial institutions should partner with specialist NLP companies for PII detection.

First, NLP companies have the expertise and resources to develop and maintain accurate AI models, and many times start from existing models that only require a certain amount of fine-tuning.

Second, NLP companies can provide financial institutions with a scalable solution that can be easily integrated into their existing systems and do so with privacy in mind.

Third, NLP companies can typically offer a myriad of other services to financial institutions, such as document and email classification, summarization, knowledge extraction, and anonymization. 


1. The Challenge of PII Detection in Financial Institutions

Financial institutions collect and store a vast array of customer information, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, bank account details, and more. Protecting this PII is paramount to prevent identity theft, fraud, and potential legal repercussions. However, traditional methods of manual data handling are increasingly insufficient to meet the growing demands of data privacy and security. 

2. The Power of Natural Language Processing (NLP)

NLP is a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that enables machines to understand, interpret, and generate human language. By leveraging NLP technology, financial institutions can significantly improve their data handling processes, particularly in PII detection and anonymization. 

3. Partnering with NLP Companies: A Strategic Move

Rather than developing AI models from scratch, financial institutions can collaborate with specialized NLP companies like Pangeanic.

By tapping into Pangeanic's expertise, institutions gain access to pre-built AI models that can be fine-tuned to meet their specific requirements, saving time and resources. 

4. Fine-Tuning AI Models for Anonymization

Anonymization is a crucial process that protects PII by removing or obscuring identifying information from datasets. By partnering with an NLP company, financial institutions can fine-tune AI models to perform accurate anonymization, ensuring compliance with privacy regulations while still maintaining data usability for analytical purposes. 

5. Document and Email Classification

Classifying documents and emails based on their content is essential for efficient data management and access control. NLP-powered models can automatically categorize sensitive information, reducing the risk of mishandling PII and other confidential data. 

6. Summarization for Efficient Data Processing

Financial institutions often deal with an overwhelming volume of text-based data, such as legal contracts, compliance documents, and customer communication. NLP models can be fine-tuned to provide concise and accurate summaries, allowing for faster data processing and decision-making. 

7. Knowledge Extraction for Insights and Analytics

Extracting valuable insights from unstructured data is a challenge for financial institutions. NLP models can be tailored to extract relevant knowledge from various sources, helping institutions gain valuable business intelligence while minimizing exposure to sensitive information. 

8. Ensuring Compliance with Data Protection Regulations

Collaborating with an NLP company like Pangeanic ensures that financial institutions remain compliant with data protection regulations. By employing NLP models for PII detection and anonymization, institutions can uphold customer privacy, avoid costly fines, and maintain their reputation. 


Legal Reasoning: for the Partnership between the Financial Institution and NLP company 

There are several legal reasons why financial institutions should partner with NLP companies for PII detection. First, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) requires financial institutions to protect the privacy of their customers' PII.

The GLBA specifically requires financial institutions to "develop, implement, and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the size and complexity of its business, the nature and scope of its activities, and the sensitivity of the customer information it collects or maintains." 

Second, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires financial institutions to take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality, accuracy, and completeness of consumer reports.

The FCRA specifically prohibits financial institutions from "knowingly or willfully" failing to adopt and implement reasonable procedures to assure the accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of the information contained in consumer reports. 

Third, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires financial institutions that operate in the European Union to protect the personal data of their European Union customers.

The GDPR specifically requires financial institutions to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure the security of the personal data they process. 


Additional Benefits of Partnering with an NLP Company: 

  • Scalability:  NLP companies can provide financial institutions with a scalable solution that can be easily integrated into their existing systems. This is important for financial institutions that are growing rapidly or that have a large volume of PII data to manage. 

  • Cost-Effectiveness:  NLP companies can offer financial institutions a cost-effective solution that can save them money in the long run. This is because NLP companies can leverage their expertise and resources to develop and maintain accurate AI models that are more efficient than manual methods of PII detection. 

  • Reliability:  NLP companies can provide financial institutions with a reliable solution that can help them to comply with their legal obligations. This is because NLP companies have a track record of developing and maintaining accurate AI models that meet the requirements of the GLBA, FCRA, and GDPR. 

If you are a financial institution that is looking for a way to protect PII, we encourage you to consider partnering with an NLP company such as Pangeanic, with a known record on privacy and fully supporting the 4 pillars of Ethical AI


Related reading:

 The 4 pillars of Ethical AI – and why they’re important to Machine Learning


Incorporating NLP technology into financial institutions' data management practices offers numerous advantages, from accurate PII detection and anonymization to enhanced data processing and compliance with regulations.

By partnering with specialized NLP companies like Pangeanic, institutions can access ready-made AI models and fine-tune them to suit their unique needs.

NLP companies can offer you a scalable, cost-effective, and reliable solution that can help you to comply with your legal obligations.

Embracing NLP is not just a step towards better data privacy but also a strategic move towards improved operational efficiency and competitive advantage in an increasingly data-driven world.

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