The Privacy Act and FOIA

When an agency denies a federal FOIA request based on Exemption 6 or Exemption 7(C) personal privacy grounds, it will often cite the Privacy Act of 1974 as an additional basis that purportedly restricts its ability to disclose the records at issue. This section provides a brief introduction to the Privacy Act, discusses its interplay with the disclosure requirements of the federal FOIA and provides strategies on how to overcome FOIA request denials that cite the Privacy Act.