About the Office
Defense Privacy Board Advisory Opinions
USING BOTH GENERAL AND SPECIFIC PRIVACY ACT EXEMPTIONS FOR THE SAME SYSTEM OF RECORDS
The general exemption, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(j)(2), and the specific exemption, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(k)(2), ordinarily cannot be used for the same system of records. For example, subsection (j)(2) applies to law enforcement records of criminal law enforcement activities, whereas subsection (k)(2) applies to law enforcement records other than those covered by subsection (j)(2). Nonetheless, a single system of records maintained by a law enforcement activity may contain both criminal law enforcement records exempted under (j)(2) and personnel security records exempted under (k)(5). If the two types of records are clearly segregable within the single system of records, both exemptions would apply. Also, a system of records may qualify for exemption under more than one specific exemption under subsection (k). For any system of records, only exemptions established in accordance with DoD 5400.11–R may be claimed.