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Defense Privacy Board Advisory Opinions
VERIFYING THE ACCURACY OF PERSONAL DATA IN A RECORD IS SUBJECT TO THE PRIVACY ACT
Requesting an individual to verify or certify the accuracy of information about him or her in a record or on a form constitutes collection of information about the individual and is subject to advice requirements of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(e)(3). Guidance on implementation of this subsection issued by the Office of Management and Budget supports this conclusion. Subsection (e)(3) is intended "to assure that individuals from whom information about themselves is collected are informed of the reasons for requesting the information, how it may be used, and what the consequences are, if any, of not providing the information." 40 Fed. Reg. 28961 (July 9, 1975).
Either of the following situations would invoke provisions of the Privacy Act:
- Verifying a record requires the individual to examine and disclose whether the record is correct; thus, a request for verification is a request for the individual to republish as truthful the information about him or her; or
- The individual is asked to identify any erroneous entries and furnish the correct data. When the request is soliciting corrections or additions to a record, it is soliciting information about the individual for a system of records.