1974 December 31

Congress Passes Federal Privacy Act


The Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits the disclosure of personal information without the written consent of the individual, gives individuals the right of access to their own files, and the right to add information if they disagree with information contained in the file. The law was the first significant privacy act passed by Congress, and reflected the new public concern about protecting individual privacy regarding government files. President Gerald Ford signed the act into law on January 1, 1975.

The law: “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 . . .”

Learn more about your right to privacy from the ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/your-right-privacy

Learn more at the Privacy Rights Clearinghousehttps://www.privacyrights.org/

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