Privacy Act/PII

Privacy Act

The Privacy Act works in tandem with the FOIA to regulate federal agency records about individuals, restricting the disclosure of personal information that might violate privacy while allowing individuals access to records about themselves.

View Privacy Act training.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Privacy Act?

The Privacy Act of 1974 is a federal law that establishes safeguard for the protection of records which the federal government collects and maintains on United States citizens and aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence. The purpose of the Privacy Act is to balance the government’s need to maintain information about individuals with the rights of individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasions of their privacy stemming from federal agencies’ collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of personal information about them.

What is a Privacy Act request?

If you are seeking records on yourself, this is a Privacy Act request. A Privacy Act request is a written request for records pertaining to an individual maintained in a Privacy Act system of records, unless the record is subject to an exemption or the record is information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.

You will need to submit your request via mail at the address to the right. You must also provide proof of identity. Also, if you are seeking records of a personal nature on another living individual, you must provide a Privacy Act release from that party to obtain these records. This type of request is not appropriate for submission via electronic or facsimile transmission

What is a Privacy Act system of records?

A System of Records is a group of any records under the control of any agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifier assigned to the individual. The Privacy Act requires each agency to publish notice of its systems of records in the federal register. This notice is generally referred to as a system of records notice (SORN).

How long does it take to process a Privacy Act request?

The initial response time is the same as a FOIA request (20 days), except request for amendments. The Privacy Act systems manager normally acknowledges receipt of request within 10 working days and provides a determination within 30 working days.

What will be released in a Privacy Act request?

If you are the subject of the file and the word "None" appears in the last entry in the systems notice entitled "Exemptions Claimed for the System," then the entire record will be released to you.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Personally identifiable information (PII) is personal information about an individual that identifies, links, relates, is unique to, or describes him or her. Such information can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity.

Examples of PII

Name Other names used Social Security Number (SSN)
Truncated SSN Driver's license Other ID number
Citizenship Legal status Gender
Race/Ethnicity Birth date Place of birth
Personal cell number Home telephone number Personal email address
Mailing/home address Religious preference Security clearance
Mother's maiden name Mother's middle name Spouse information
Marital status Biometrics Child information
Financial information Medical information Disability information
Law enforcement Employment information Military records
Emergency contact Education information Other identifiable information

Immediate actions after a PII breach


Soldier Support Center
1401 B Avenue, Bldg 3400, Room 114
Fort Lee, VA 23801-1724

Contact Information

Email the Records Manager

Phone: (804) 765-3204

Last Updated: 2/15/2018 10:27:14 PM

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