Privacy Act 88 Stat. 1896 (1974)
PRIVACY ACT 88 Stat. 1896 (1974)
The Privacy Act was passed in response to public concern about "data banks" maintained by United States government agencies. Often, a person did not know what agencies held files on him or what such files contained. In addition, information provided to one government agency—often under a promise of confidentiality—was passed on to a second agency to be used for a different purpose, and that without the knowledge or consent of the individual concerned.
The act was passed by Congress and signed by President gerald r. ford in December 1974. According to its provisions: an individual is to have access to any files concerning him maintained by a government agency (except law-enforcement and national security files); an individual who believes that information about him in a government file is inaccurate or incomplete may seek injunctive relief to correct the file; no agency is to use information provided by an individual for other than the original purpose, or to provide the information to another agency, without the individual's consent; no agency may deny benefits to individuals who refuse to disclose their social security numbers; and no agency may maintain records describing the exercise of rights protected by the first amendment.
Dennis J. Mahoney