Privacy Act Exemptions

Exemptions offered by the Act to prevent disclosure are rarely used. There is one Special exemption, Section 552a(d)(5), which prohibits an individual access to any information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.

General Exemptions
There are two general exemptions:

  1.     Section 552a(j)(1) which covers records maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency,
  2.     Section 552a(j)(2) which covers records relating to law enforcement activities.

Specific Exemptions
There are seven specific exemptions:

  1. subject to the provisions of section 552(b)(1) of the Freedom of Information Act (information properly classified in the interest of national security or foreign policy);
  2. investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes other than those spelled out in the general exemption (j)(2);
  3. maintained in connection with providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to section 3056 of Title 18;
  4. required by statute to be maintained and used solely as statistical records;
  5. investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for federal civilian employment, military service, federal contracts, or access to classified material, but only to the extent that the disclosure of material would reveal a source who furnished information to the government under an express promise of confidentiality;
  6. testing or examination material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the federal service, the disclosure of which would compromise the objectivity or fairness of the testing process; or
  7. evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services, but only to the extent that the disclosure of the information would reveal a source who furnished information to the government under an express promise of confidentiality.