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Unformatted text preview: the Internal Revenue Service, the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other limbs of the government. The committee that
made this proposal saw this as an efficient way of gathering and centralizing data. Others saw it as a dangerous move against individual privacy and too “Big Brother.” The
federal data bank never came to pass because of strong opposition.
To keep the government in check on gathering information on U.S. citizens and
other matters, a majority of its files are considered open to the public. Government files
are open to the public unless specific issues enacted by the legislature deem certain files
unavailable. This is what is explained in the Freedom of Information Act. This is different from what the Privacy Act outlines and protects. The Privacy Act applies to records
and documents developed and maintained by specific branches of the federal government, such as executive departments, government corporations, independent regulatory agencies, and government-controlled corporations. It does not apply to
congressional, judiciary, or territorial subdivisions. ch10.indd 869 12/4/2009 11:39:09 AM All-in-1 / CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, 5th Ed. / Harris / 160217-8 CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide 870
An actual record is information about an individual’s education, medical history, financial history, criminal history, employment, and other similar types of information.
Government agencies can maintain this type of information only if it is necessary and
relevant to accomplishing the agency’s purpose. The Privacy Act dictates that an agency
cannot disclose this information without written permission from the individual. However, like most government acts, legislation, and creeds, there is a list of exceptions.
So what does all of this dry legal mumbo-jumbo mean? Basically, agencies can
gather information about individuals, but it must be relevant and necessary for its approved cause. In addition, that agency cannot go around town sharing other people’s
private information. If it does, pr...
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