First Party Privacy Act Requests
The Privacy Act (PA), 5 U.S.C. §552a
The Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, establishes a code of fair information practices that govern the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of information about individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal agencies. A system of records is a group of records under the control of an agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifier assigned to the individual.
The Privacy Act requires that agencies give the public notice of their systems of records by publication in the Federal Register. The Privacy Act prohibits the disclosure of a record about an individual from a system of records absent the written consent of the individual, unless the disclosure is pursuant to one of twelve statutory exceptions. The Act also provides individuals with a means by which to seek access to and amendment of their records, and sets forth various agency record-keeping requirements.
Requesting a Record under the Privacy Act
Minimum Requirements of a PA Request
- Your request must be prepared in writing.
- If submitting by mail, label your request "Privacy Act Request" on the request, as well as the envelope.
- Individuals seeking access to records about themselves that are maintained in a PA system of records must provide specific identifying data to enable a reasonable search for the requested records. This can included identifying the system of records notice covering the records (DON (USN and USMC) SORNS), providing the date range of the records, and specifying the types of records requested.
- Proof of identity is required for all PA requests. To satisy this requirement, requesters can either have their signed requests notarized or, in lieu of a notarized signature, include an unsworn declaration stating "I declare under perjury or penalty under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct" on the request before dating and signing. Only physical signatures or DoD approved digital signatures will be accepted. (Utilizing USNA 5211/2 USNA Authorization for Disclosure of Records will satisfy the proof of identity requirement as the unsworn declaration is included on the form).
- Individuals may authorize the release of all or part of their records to anyone they choose provided they submit a signed authorization to USNA. Such authorizations must specifically state the records to which the individual may have access.
- Individuals seeking to review PA records in person may be accompanied by anyone they choose. In such instances, USNA will require the subject of the records provide a written authorization to allow the record to be discussed in front of the other person. If records are stored in an exempt system, some information may not be releasable or viewable upon request.
- Include requester's full name, complete U.S. postal service mailing address, phone number, and email (if you wish electronic responsive documentation) on your signed request.
First Party Requesters will be Granted Access to their Records Under the Provisions of the PA, Unless:
- they did not properly identify the records being sought; did not sign their request or provide proof of identity; and/or failed to provide sufficient identifying data to locate the requested record(s);
- they are seeking access to information in a system of records that is exempt from disclosure in whole or in part under the provisions of the PA;
- they are seeking access to information that was compiled in anticipation of a civil action or proceeding [i.e.,(d)(5) applies.] The term “civil action or proceeding” includes quasi-judicial and pre–trial judicial proceedings, as well as formal litigation. However, this does not prohibit access to records compiled or used for purposes other than litigation or to records frequently subject to litigation. The information must have been compiled for the primary purpose of litigation to be withheld under 5 U.S.C. §552a (d)(5); or
- they are seeking access to information contained in the system that is currently and properly classified [see 5 U.S.C. §552a (k)(1)].
Submit Your Request
You may submit your request by one of the following methods:
- Electronic Submission:
- Official Transcript Only:
Official transcripts can only be obtained through the Registrar's Office. Submit requests directly to the Registrar's Office.
- U.S. Mail:
Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy
Attention: Privacy Coordinator
121 Blake Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-1300