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Federal Privacy Act of 1974

The Privacy Act states in part:

"No agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains...."

There are specific exceptions for the record allowing the use of personal records:

  • For statistical purposes by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • For routine uses within a U.S. government agency
  • For archival purposes "as a record which has sufficient historical or other value to warrant its continued preservation by the United States Government"
  • For law enforcement purposes
  • For congressional investigations
  • Other administrative purposes

The Privacy Act mandates that each United States Government agency have in place an administrative and physical security system to prevent the unauthorized release of personal records.

For more information, visit:

Federal Privacy Act of 1974 Overview, Department of Justice

Federal Privacy Act of 1974, Federal Trade Commission