Chapter 1

Privacy Act disclosures -- FOIA

Freedom of Information Act is 5 U.S. Code section 552.

Privacy Act is Title 5 U.S. Code section 552a

Here is a printable copy of the Privacy Act (which is no longer available from the Government Printing Office). You will need it when you confront banks and employers.

The Privacy Act section 7 says it applies to the federal government. Employers and banks will tell you that it does not apply to them because they are not government. They lie. They are acting as government agents. The privacy act applies to private business that are enforcing federal regulations. Here is what the Legislative History of the Privacy Act says:

The Legislative History of the Privacy Act shows the intent of Congress in writing the Act. The words in the Act mean what Congress intended them to mean.

Part of the Legislative History of The Privacy Act also proves that Congress intended:

"Federal requests or requirements for personal information henceforth shall be accompanied by written or oral notices presented in obvious or highly visible manner, which use the specific terms "mandatory" or "voluntary" in describing the nature of the individual's desired response, . . . "

Most forms that you think are mandatory have a Privacy Act Statement that use the term "Required" rather than "mandatory". As you can see, the forms do not have PRIVACY ACT STATEMENTs that meet the minimum requirements of the Privacy Act. In other words, they are NOT Privacy Act Statements. You might use the term fake, phony, imitation or counterfeit.

FOIA the agency AND write the private business who is enforcing the information collection request. Ask if the information collection is mandatory or voluntary.