Privacy Act (PA) Policy
The Privacy Act (PA) of 1974 (Public Law 93-579), codified as 5 U.S.C. 552a, establishes safeguards for the protection of records the government collects and maintains on United States citizens and lawfully admitted permanent residents.
Specifically, it mandates that the government inform people at the time it is collecting information about them why the information is being collected and how it will be used, such as:
Publish a notice in the Federal Register of new or revised system of records on individuals
Assure that information is accurate, relevant, complete and up-to-date before disclosing it to others
Allow individuals to find out about disclosures of their records to other agencies or persons
Provide individuals with the opportunity to correct inaccuracies in their records
The PA allows individuals to seek access to records retrieved by their name and personal identifier that are contained in a PA system of records; provide written authorization for their representative to act on their behalf; and seek records on behalf of a minor child if they are the legal guardian or parent and are determined to be acting in the minor's best interest.
The DoJ website also provides an overview of the Privacy Act of 1974 , which provides disclosure prohibitions, access and amendment provisions, and agency record keeping requirements. Any inquiry about the Privacy Act's provisions should be made to individual agency Privacy Act officers in conjunction with use of this overview. Particularly important Privacy Act policy/litigation questions, or questions concerning the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines, may be directed to OMB.