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Privacy Act Statement

The Privacy Act of 1974, Title 5 U.S.C. 552a, establishes a code of fair information practice that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable 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 prohibits the disclosure of information from a system of records without the written consent of the subject 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 (Freedom of Information Act), and sets forth various agency record-keeping requirements.


When to Provide a Privacy Act Statement

Whenever an individual is requested to provide personal information that will be maintained in a System of Records (SOR) or collected on an official AF Form, the individual shall be provided the authority, purpose, routine use(s), whether disclosure of the information is voluntary or not, and the applicable SORN. This is known as a Privacy Act Statement. (Ref AFI 33-332 Para 4.5.1.)

Per AFI 33-332, Privacy Act Program, Para 4.5.1, A Privacy Act Statement must include four items:

Authority: the legal authority that authorizes the solicitation of the personal information.

Purpose: the principal purpose or purposes for which the information is intended to be used.

Routine Uses: who will the personal information be shared with on a routine basis outside the DoD.

Disclosure: Voluntary or Mandatory. (Use mandatory only when disclosure is required by law and the individual will be penalized for not providing information. All mandatory disclosure requirements must first be reviewed by the servicing legal office). Include any consequences of nondisclosure in nonthreatening language.


Authority Examples

Title 10, U.S.C., Section 8013. IAW AFI 36-2608, Military Personnel Records System, Para 3.1, the files in a PIF (Personal Information File) are maintained and kept under authority of Title 10, U.S.C., Section 8013, and solely by offices or levels of command where there is a requirement for them in the performance of day-to-day business. PIFs must be set up using the AF Form 10A, kept up to date, correct in content, and safeguarded to ensure the PIF is not misused or that unauthorized access occurs.

Reference: Military Personnel Records System


Title 10, U.S.C., Section 8013. IAW AFI 36-2907, Unfavorable Information file Program, title page, "This instruction requires you to maintain information protected by the Privacy Act of 1974. The authority to maintain this information is Title 10, U.S.C., Section 8013. System of Records Notice FO35 AF MP L, Unfavorable Information Files (UIF), also applies."

Reference: Unfavorable Information Files (UIF)



Privacy Act Statement Examples

For LOC:

AUTHORITY: 10 U.S.C. 8013. PURPOSE: To obtain any comments you desire to submit (on a voluntary basis) for consideration concerning this action. ROUTINE USES: Provides you an opportunity to submit comments or documents for consideration. If provided, the comments and documents you submit become a part of the action. DISCLOSURE: Your written acknowledgment of receipt and signature are mandatory. Any other comment or document you provide is voluntary.


IAW the Privacy Act of 1974, the contents of this document contain privileged or other confidential information. Unauthorized disclosure may result in civil and criminal sanctions. If you are not the intended recipient, or believe you have received this communication in error, do not reproduce, retransmit, disseminate, or otherwise use this information.



For E-mail

This e-mail contains FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (FOUO) information which must be protected under the Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 552) and/or the Privacy Act of 1974. Unauthorized disclosure or misuse of this PERSONAL INFORMATION may result in disciplinary action, criminal and/or civil penalties.

In addition, include "FOUO" at the beginning of the subject line.

Reference AFI 33-332, AIR FORCE PRIVACY PROGRAM, paragraph 7.3.4.

7.3.4. When transmitting personal information over e-mail, encrypt and add "For Official Use Only (FOUO)" to the beginning of the subject line and apply the following statement at the beginning of the e-mail:

"This e-mail contains FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (FOUO) information which must be protected under the Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 552) and/or the Privacy Act of 1974. Unauthorized disclosure or misuse of this PERSONAL INFORMATION may result in disciplinary action, criminal and/or civil penalties. Further distribution is prohibited without the approval of the author of this message unless the recipient has a need-to-know in the performance of official duties. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete all copies of this message."

Do not indiscriminately apply this statement to all e-mails. Use it only in situations when you are actually transmitting personal information required to be protected For Official Use Only purposes.




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