Privacy Act

Privacy Act

Privacy Act

The Privacy Act provides you with a means of access to records about you similar to that of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The FOIA is entirely an access statute; it permits “any person” to seek access to any “agency record” that is not subject to any of its nine exemptions or its three exclusions.  By comparison, the Privacy Act permits an “individual” to seek access to his own “record,” if that record is maintained by the agency within a “system of records” – i.e., is retrieved by that individual requester’s name or personal identifier.  An Agency will process your access request for your own record under both the Privacy Act and the FOIA, regardless of the statute(s) cited.  See 5 U.S.C. § 552a(t)(1) and (2).  Further, the Privacy Act provides you with the right to request amendment of your own record to correct any information which you assert is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete.  See 5 U.S.C. § 522a(d)(2).

How we can help

  • Filing requests for records that properly identify the records sought;
  • Appealing initial denials of records through the applicable agency appeal process;
  • Filing requests for correction or amendment of records; and
  • Appealing initial denials of requests for correction or amendment of records.