Privacy Act

Medicare injunction lifted, potentially opening access to reporters

Amy Zhang | Freedom of Information | News | June 4, 2013
June 4, 2013

The public may be able to more closely scrutinize the multi-billion dollar federal Medicare program after a judge last week lifted a 33-year-old injunction that barred access to the healthcare program's records.

Federal appellate court allows former prosecutor to investigate Detroit newspaper's government source

Amanda Simmons | Reporter's Privilege | News | June 27, 2012
June 27, 2012

A federal appeals court allowed a former Detroit prosecutor to continue investigating the identity of a source who leaked information about an internal ethics probe against him to a Pulitzer-Prize winning newspaper reporter. The decision, which was released Friday, overturns a district court’s ruling that threw out the case last year and now leaves a newspaper vulnerable to investigations eight years after a U.S. Department of Justice insider leaked information to the reporter.

OGIS releases FOIA recommendations amid Senate pressure

You-Jin Han | Freedom of Information | News | April 25, 2012
April 25, 2012

The Office of Government Information Services issued its recommendations for policy changes to the federal Freedom of Information Act yesterday, more than a year after it submitted a draft version to the Office of Management and Budget in February 2011 for review.

U.S. Supreme Court rules emotional distress damages not available under Privacy Act

Rachel Bunn | Privacy | News | March 30, 2012
March 30, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that a plaintiff cannot collect damages for emotional distress for government violations of the federal Privacy Act.

Ohio high court orders partial release of toxicity records

You-Jin Han | Freedom of Information | Feature | January 20, 2012
January 20, 2012

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday that with respect to agency records related to lead poisoning, only portions that do not have “personal identifying information” can be released under the Ohio Public Records Act.

DEA agent fails to prove viral video violated Privacy Act

Rachel Bunn | Privacy | Feature | January 18, 2012
January 18, 2012

The disclosure of a video showing a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officer accidentally shooting himself in the leg during a lecture to community youths does not violate the federal Privacy Act, a U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday. The court also rejected the officer's claim for invasion of privacy under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Supreme Court looks at role of damages in privacy violation

Jamie Schuman | Freedom of Information | Feature | December 1, 2011
December 1, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday on whether a plaintiff who alleges emotional injuries but has no monetary loss can collect damages after the government intentionally releases personal information protected under the Privacy Act.

Judge denies request to force OSHA to withhold records

You-Jin Han | Freedom of Information | Feature | September 20, 2011
September 20, 2011

A federal court in Florida refused to order the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to withhold videos and photographs depicting a SeaWorld trainer’s death, explaining that it would not intervene before the agency reached a decision regarding the release of the materials.

Privacy Act suit based on leak to Detroit reporter dismissed

Lyndsey Wajert | Reporter's Privilege | Feature | March 25, 2011
March 25, 2011

A federal judge ended a lengthy legal battle that centered around a reporter's confidential sources yesterday when he dismissed a former federal prosecutor’s lawsuit against the Department of Justice.

FBI allows Edward Kennedy's family to weigh in on file release

Miranda Fleschert | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | April 15, 2010
April 15, 2010

The FBI will consult with Edward M. Kennedy's family before releasing its file on the deceased lawmaker to the public — a rarely invoked FBI accommodation, The Boston Globe reported.

Because deceased persons cannot claim privacy rights, media organizations began requesting to gain access to Kennedy’s 3000-page FBI file under the Freedom of Information Act after the Massachusetts senator passed away in August.