What is the Privacy Act?
In December 1974, Congress passed a law relating to protection of privacy in the administrative process of Federal executive agencies. The President signed the legislation on January 1, 1975 and the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579) became effective on September 27, 1975.
The Privacy Act gives American citizens and aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residency a greater say in the way records about them are kept and eliminates needless intrusions on personal privacy through the keeping of extraneous records. The Privacy Act assures individuals on whom information is collected that:
- There are not Federal government personal recordkeeping systems whose very existence are secret.
- Federal personal information files are limited to those that are clearly necessary.
- They will have an opportunity to see what information about them is maintained and to challenge its accuracy.
- Personal information collected for one purpose will not be used for another purpose without consent.
- If disclosures are made, they will find out to whom they were made, for what purpose and on what date.
The following links provide additional information on
the Privacy Act:
- Where and How to Submit a Privacy Act request
- Fee Schedule
- Sample Privacy Act Request Letter
- Privacy Act Exemptions
- Civil Rights Privacy Act System of Records
The following link provides detailed information on the Privacy Act: