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    under the privacy act, individuals have the right to request amendments of their records contained in a system of records.

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    Overview of the Privacy Act of 1974

    This is archived content from the U.S. Department of Justice website. The information here may be outdated and links may no longer function. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions about the archive site.

    This is archived content from the U.S. Department of Justice website. The information here may be outdated and links may no longer function. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions about the archive site.

    Overview of the Privacy Act of 1974

    Individual's Right of Access

    “Each agency that maintains a system of records shall . . . upon request by any individual to gain access to his record or to any information pertaining to him which is contained in the system, permit him and upon his request, a person of his own choosing to accompany him, to review the record and have a copy made of all or any portion thereof in a form comprehensible to him, except that the agency may require the individual to furnish a written statement authorizing discussion of that individual’s record in the accompanying person’s presence.”  5 U.S.C. § 552a(d)(1).

    Comment:

    The Privacy Act provides individuals with a means of access similar to that of the FOIA.  The statutes do overlap, but not entirely.  See generally Greentree v. U.S. Customs Serv., 674 F.2d 74, 76-80 (D.C. Cir. 1982).  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 only an “individual” to seek access to only his own “record,” and only 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 – subject to ten Privacy Act exemptions (see the discussion of Privacy Act exemptions, below).  Thus, the primary difference between the FOIA and the access provision of the Privacy Act is in the scope of information accessible under each statute.

    An individual’s access request for his own record maintained in a system of records should be processed under both the Privacy Act and the FOIA, regardless of the statute(s) cited.  See 5 U.S.C. § 552a(t)(1) and (2) (prohibiting reliance on FOIA exemptions to withhold under Privacy Act, and vice versa); H.R. Rep. No. 98-726, pt. 2, at 16-17 (1984), reprinted in 1984 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3741, 3790-91 (regarding amendment of Privacy Act in 1984 to include subsection (t)(2) and stating:  “Agencies that had made it a practice to treat a request made under either [the Privacy Act or the FOIA] as if the request had been made under both laws should continue to do so.”); FOIA Update, Vol. VII, No. 1, at 6, available at http://www.justice.gov/oip/foia_updates/Vol_VII_1/page5.htm (“FOIA Counselor Q & A”); see also Martin v. Office of Special Counsel, 819 F.2d 1181, 1184 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (“[A]ccess to records under [FOIA and Privacy Act] is available without regard to exemptions under the other.”); Shapiro v. DEA, 762 F.2d 611, 612 (7th Cir. 1985) (“Congress intends that the courts construe the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act separately and independently so that exemption from disclosure under the Privacy Act does not exempt disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and vice versa.”); Espinoza v. DOJ, 20 F. Supp. 3d 232, 244 (D.D.C. 2014) (finding that “the Privacy Act specifically exempts from its nondisclosure provisions documents that are otherwise required to be disclosed under the FOIA”); Menchu v. HHS, 965 F. Supp. 2d 1238, 1246-47 (D. Or. 2013) (finding that “[t]he application of § 552a(d), rather than § 552a(b)(2), and the underlying goal of the legislature to allow individuals broad access to their own records, supports the conclusion that § 552a(t) requires disclosure of the records sought when allowed under either the [FOIA] or the Privacy Act” in light of the fact that plaintiff was requesting information about himself and not about a third party); Blazy v. Tenet, 979 F. Supp. 10, 16 (D.D.C. 1997) (quoting subsection (t)(2) and stating that “[d]ocument requests therefore must be analyzed under both Acts”), summary affirmance granted, No. 97-5330, 1998 WL 315583 (D.C. Cir. May 12, 1998); Sussman v. DOJ, No. 03-3618, 2006 WL 2850608, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2006) (“[A]n exemption under the FOIA is not a bar to release files under the Privacy Act and . . . a Privacy Act exemption is not a bar to release of files under the FOIA.”); Brown v. DOJ, No. 02-2662, slip op. at 18 n.36 (D. Ala. June 21, 2005) (following Blazy and concluding that plaintiff’s request must be analyzed under both FOIA and Privacy Act because “access to documents under these statutes [is] dissimilar”); Bogan v. FBI, No. 04-C-532-C, 2005 WL 1367214, at *6 (W.D. Wis. June 7, 2005) (explaining that if records are requested under both FOIA and Privacy Act, requester can gain access to those records by showing that they were accessible under either statute); Harvey v. DOJ, No. 92-176-BLG, slip op. at 8 (D. Mont. Jan. 9, 1996) (“Even though information may be withheld under the [Privacy Act], the inquiry does not end.  The agency must also process requests under the FOIA, since the agency may not rely upon an exemption under the [Privacy Act] to justify nondisclosure of records that would otherwise be accessible under the FOIA.  5 U.S.C. § 552a(t)(2).”), aff’d, 116 F.3d 484 (9th Cir. 1997) (unpublished table decision); cf. Wren v. Harris, 675 F.2d 1144, 1146 & n.5 (10th Cir. 1982) (per curiam) (construing pro se complaint to seek information under either Privacy Act or FOIA even though only FOIA was referenced by name); Gonzales & Gonzales Bonds & Ins. Agency, Inc. v. DHS, 913 F.Supp.2d 865, 868 n.3 (N.D. Cal. 2012) (noting DHS’ error in responding to plaintiff’s FOIA requests under the Privacy Act, and stating that “the FOIA and the Privacy Act are distinct mechanisms for obtaining government information, and it is legal error to conflate them”); Skurow v. DHS, 892 F. Supp. 2d 319, 330 (D.D.C. 2012) (rejecting “plaintiff’s argument that [information related to plaintiff being on the watch list] should be released because plaintiff has requested the information under the Privacy Act, in addition to FOIA” because the provision in the TSA’s [Sensitive Security Information (SSI)] regulation specifically addresses the issue by stating that “records containing SSI are not available for public inspection or copying, nor does TSA . . . release such records to persons without a need to know”); Hunsberger v. DOJ, No. 92-2587, slip op. at 2 n.2 (D.D.C. July 22, 1997) (exempting system of records, from which documents at issue were retrieved, pursuant to Privacy Act exemption (j)(2); “[c]onsequently, the records were processed for release under the FOIA”); Kitchen v. FBI, No. 93-2382, slip op. at 7 (D.D.C. Mar. 18, 1996) (stating that although all requested documents were exempt under Privacy Act, they “were also processed under FOIA in the interest of full disclosure”); Kitchen v. DEA, No. 93-2035, slip op. at 9 (D.D.C. Oct. 12, 1995) (same), appeal dismissed for failure to prosecute, No. 95-5380 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 11, 1996); Freeman v. DOJ, 822 F. Supp. 1064, 1066 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (accepting agency’s rationale that “because documents releasable pursuant to FOIA may not be withheld as exempt under the Privacy Act,” it is proper for the agency not to distinguish between FOIA and Privacy Act requests when assigning numbers to establish the order of processing, and quoting Report of House Committee on Government Operations, H.R. Rep. No. 98-726, which was cited by the agency as “mandat[ing]” such practice); Pearson v. DEA, No. 84-2740, slip op. at 2 (D.D.C. Jan. 31, 1986) (construing pro se complaint to seek information under either Privacy Act or FOIA even though only FOIA was referenced by name).

    Source : www.justice.gov

    The Privacy Act

    Privacy Assesments

    The Privacy Act

    The FOI/Privacy Acts Division is the focal point for HHS Privacy Act administration, including the HHS System of Records Notices (SORN).

    The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended to present (5 U.S.C. 552a),

    Protects records about individuals retrieved by personal identifiers such as a name, social security number, or other identifying number or symbol. An individual has rights under the Privacy Act to seek access to and request correction (if applicable) or an accounting of disclosures of any such records maintained about him or her.

    Prohibits disclosure of such records without the prior, written consent of the individual(s) to whom the records pertain, unless one of the twelve disclosure exceptions enumerated in subsection (b) of the Act applies.

    Requires such records to be described in System of Records Notices (SORNs) published in the Federal Register and posted to the Internet.

    Binds only federal agencies and covers only records under the control of federal agencies (and, by contract, also applies to contractor personnel and systems used by a federal agency to maintain the records).

    HHS Privacy Act regulations (45 CFR Part 5b)

    FDA Privacy Act regulations (21 CFR Part 21)

    For assistance with a Privacy Act question or complaint involving a specific HHS Operating Division’s records, you may contact the appropriate HHS Privacy Act Contacts.To submit a Privacy Act request to HHS, please follow these instructions: How to Make a Privacy Act Request

    Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs)

    E-Government Act of 2002 requires government agencies to assess the impact on privacy for systems that contain personally identifiable information in Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs). All HHS PIAs are available online.

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Rules contain privacy, security, and breach notification requirements that apply to individually identifiable health information created, received, maintained, or transmitted by health care providers who engage in certain electronic transactions, health transactions, health plans, health care clearinghouses, and their business associates.

    The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the Departmental component responsible for implementing and enforcing the HIPAA Rules.

    For questions about HIPAA or to file a HIPAA complaint, visit the OCR website (https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa), or call (800) 368-1019.

    Source : www.hhs.gov

    HIPPA and Privacy Training Flashcards

    Start studying HIPPA and Privacy Training. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

    HIPPA and Privacy Training

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    ) Which of the following are common causes of breaches?

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    All of the above

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    A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is an analysis of how information is handled:

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    All of the above

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    1/20 Created by ideallykeen

    Terms in this set (20)

    ) Which of the following are common causes of breaches?

    All of the above

    A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is an analysis of how information is handled:

    All of the above

    Under the Privacy Act, individuals have the right to request amendments of their records contained in a system of records.

    All of the above

    Under HIPAA, a covered entity (CE) is defined as:

    All of the above

    The e-Government Act promotes the use of electronic government services by the public and improves the use of information technology in the government.

    True

    What of the following are categories for punishing violations of federal health care laws?

    All of the above

    Technical safeguards are:

    Information technology and the associated policies and procedures that are used to protect and control access to ePHI

    An incidental use or disclosure is not a violation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule if the covered entity (CE) has:

    True

    The HIPAA Security Rule applies to which of the following

    All of the above

    Which of the following are breach prevention best practices?

    All of the above

    Which of the following are examples of personally identifiable information (PII)?

    All of the above

    HIPAA provides individuals with the right to request an accounting of disclosures of their PHI.

    True

    If an individual believes that a DoD covered entity (CE) is not complying with HIPAA, he or she may file a complaint with the:

    All of the above

    The minimum necessary standard:

    All of the above

    When must a breach be reported to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team?

    within 1 hour of discovery

    Administrative safeguards are:

    Administrative actions, and policies and procedures that are used to manage the selection, development, implementation and maintenance of security measures to protect electronic PHI (ePHI). These safeguards also outline how to manage the conduct of the workforce in relation to the protection of ePHI

    A breach as defined by the DoD is broader than a HIPAA breach (or breach defined by HHS).

    True

    Which HHS Office is charged with protecting an individual patient's health information privacy and security through the enforcement of HIPAA?

    Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

    Physical safeguards are:

    Physical measures, including policies and procedures that are used to protect electronic information systems and related buildings and equipment, from natural and environmental hazards, and unauthorized intrusion

    A covered entity (CE) must have an established complaint process.

    True

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