Your General Rights Under Privacy Act
Enacted in 1974, the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, provides US citizens or permanent resident aliens (PRAs) with a right of access to information concerning themselves that is maintained by any agency in the Executive Branch of the federal government. The Act also established controls over what personal information the federal government collects and how it uses or discloses that information. What follows is a general discussion of your rights under the PA. For your information, we also have provided a copy of our FOIA Annual Report that outlines our administration of the Act.
The Act guarantees three primary rights:
- The right to see records about yourself.
- The right to amend that record if it is inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely, or incomplete.
- The right to sue the federal government if it violates the statute, for example, allowing unauthorized individuals' access to your records.
Your Right to CIA Information Under PA
What Kinds of Records CIA Collects
The CIA was organized pursuant to the National Security Act of 1947. Its primary mission is the collection and analysis of foreign intelligence information for use by our nation's leadership; the CIA has no police, subpoena, law enforcement, or internal security functions.
Limits to Public Access
The Agency's information on you must be retrievable from its PA systems of record by your name, a number such as a social security number, or some other personal identifier. It should be noted that the PA does not apply to information about you in records filed under other subjects, such as organizations and events, unless they are retrievable by your name or other personal identifier.
What the CIA Must Protect
The PA allows the Agency to exempt certain records from disclosure. Exempt in their entirety are polygraph records. Exempt in part are those portions of records that contain classified information, information concerning intelligence sources and methods, or information about other persons.
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