(1) This section is promulgated to implement the Privacy Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-579, 5 U.S.C. 552a) by establishing procedures whereby an individual can, as to all systems of records maintained by the Commission except those set forth in § 4.13(m) as exempt from disclosure, (i) Request notification of whether the Commission maintains a record pertaining to him in any system of records, (ii) request access to such a record or to an accounting of its disclosure, (iii) request that the record be amended or corrected, and (iv) appeal an initial adverse determination of any such request. This section also establishes those systems of records that are specifically exempt from disclosure and from other requirements.
(2) The procedures of this section apply only to requests by an individual as defined in § 4.13(b). Except as otherwise provided, they govern only records containing personal information in systems of records for which notice has been published by the Commission in the Federal Register pursuant to section 552a(e)(4) of the Privacy Act of 1974 and which are neither exempt from the provisions of this section nor contained in government-wide systems of personnel records for which notice has been published in the Federal Register by the Office of Personnel Management. Requests for notification, access, and amendment of personnel records which are contained in a system of records for which notice has been given by the Office of Personnel Management are governed by the Office of Personnel Management's notices, 5 CFR part 297. Access to records which are not subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act are governed by §§ 4.8 through 4.11.
(b)Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section only:
(1)Individual means a natural person who is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
(2)Record means any item, collection, or grouping of personal information about an individual that is maintained by the Commission, including, but not limited to, his education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and that contains his name, or the identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finger or voice print or a photograph, but does not include information concerning proprietorships, businesses, or corporations.
(3)System of records means a group of any records under the control of the Commission from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, for which notice has been published by the Commission in the Federal Register pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4).
(c)Procedures for requests pertaining to individual records in a record system. An individual may request access to his or her records or any information pertaining to that individual in a system of records, and notification of whether and to whom the Commission has disclosed a record for which an accounting of disclosures is required to be kept and made available to the individual, using the procedures of this section. Requests for the disclosure of records under this section or to determine whether a system of records contains records pertaining to an individual or to obtain an accounting of disclosures, shall be in writing and if mailed, addressed as follows:
Privacy Act Request, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580.
If requests are presented in person at the Office of the General Counsel, the individual shall be required to execute a written request. All requests shall name the system of records that is the subject of the request, and shall include any additional information specified in the pertinent system notice as necessary to locate the records requested. If the requester wants another person to accompany him or her to review the records, the request shall so state. Nothing in this section will allow an individual access to any information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.
(d)Times, places, and requirements for identification of individuals making requests. Verification of identity of persons making written requests to the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) ordinarily will not be required. The signature on such requests will be deemed a certification by the signatory that he or she is the individual to whom the record pertains or is the parent or guardian of a minor or the legal guardian of the individual to whom the record pertains. The deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) may require additional verification of a requester's identity when such information is reasonably necessary to assure that records are not improperly disclosed; provided, however, that no verification of identity will be required if the records sought are publicly available under the Freedom of Information Act.
(e)Disclosure of requested information to individuals. Within 10 working days of receipt of a request under § 4.13(c), the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) will acknowledge receipt of the request. Within 30 working days of the receipt of a request under § 4.13(c), the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) will inform the requester whether a system of records containing retrievable information pertaining to the requester exists, and if so, either that the request has been granted or that the requested records or information is exempt from disclosure pursuant to § 4.13(m). When, for good cause shown, the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) is unable to respond within 30 working days of the receipt of the request, that official will notify the requester and inform him or her approximately when a response will be made.
(f)Special procedures: Medical records. When the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) determines that disclosure of a medical or psychological record directly to a requesting individual could have an adverse effect on the individual, he or she will require the individual to designate a medical doctor to whom the record will be transmitted.
(g)Request for correction or amendment of record. An individual to whom access to his records or any information pertaining to him in a system of records has been granted may request that any portion thereof be amended or corrected because he believes it is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete. An initial request for correction or amendment of a record shall be in writing whether presented in person or by mail, and if by mail, addressed as in § 4.13(c). In making a request under this subsection, the requesting party shall state the nature of the information in the record the individual believes to be inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely, or incomplete, the correction or amendment desired, and the reasons therefore.
(h)Agency review of request for correction or amendment of record. Whether presented in person or by mail, requests under § 4.13(g) will be acknowledged by the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) within 10 working days of the receipt of the request if action on the request cannot be completed and the individual notified of the results within that time. Thereafter, the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) will promptly either make the requested amendment or correction or inform the requester of his refusal to make the amendment or correction, the reasons for the refusal, and the requester's right to appeal that refusal in accordance with § 4.13(i).
(i)Appeal of initial adverse agency determination.
(1) If an initial request filed under § 4.13(c) or § 4.13(g) is denied, the requester may appeal that denial to the General Counsel. The appeal shall be in writing and addressed as follows:
Privacy Act Appeal, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580.
Within 30 working days of the receipt of the appeal, the General Counsel will notify the requester of the disposition of that appeal, except that the General Counsel may extend the 30-day period for good cause, in which case, the General Counsel will advise the requester of the approximate date on which review will be completed. In unusual or difficult cases, the General Counsel may, in his or her sole discretion, refer an appeal to the Commission for determination.
(i) If the General Counsel refuses to amend or correct the record in accordance with a request under § 4.13(g), the General Counsel will notify the requester of that decision and inform the requester of the right to file with the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) a concise statement setting forth the reasons for the requester's disagreement with the General Counsel's determination and the fact that the requester's statement will be treated as set forth in paragraph (i)(2)(ii) of this section. The General Counsel will also inform the requester that judicial review of the decision is available by a civil suit in the district in which the requester resides, or has his principal place of business, or in which the agency records are situated, or in the District of Columbia.
(ii) If the individual files a statement disagreeing with the General Counsel's determination not to amend or correct a record, such disagreement will be clearly noted in the record involved and the individual's statement will be made available to anyone to whom the record has been disclosed after September 27, 1975, or is subsequently disclosed together with, if the General Counsel deems it appropriate, a brief statement of his or her reasons for declining to amend the record.
(j)Disclosure of record to person other than the individual to whom it pertains. Except as provided by 5 U.S.C. 552a(b), the written request or prior written consent of the individual to whom a record pertains, or of his parent if a minor, or legal guardian if incompetent, shall be required before such record is disclosed. If the individual elects to inspect a record in person and desires to be accompanied by another person, the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) may require the individual to furnish a signed statement authorizing disclosure of his or her record in the presence of the accompanying named person.
(k)Fees. No fees will be charged for searching for a record, reviewing it, or for copies of records made by the Commission for its own purposes incident to granting access to a requester. Copies of records to which access has been granted under this section may be obtained by the requester from the deciding official (as designated by the General Counsel) on payment of the reproduction fees provided in § 4.8(b)(6).
(l)Penalties.Section 552a(i)(3) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(i)(3), makes it a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum fine of $5,000, to knowingly and willfully request or obtain any record concerning an individual under false pretenses. Sections 552a(i) (1) and (2) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(i) (1) and (2), provide penalties for violations by agency employees of the Privacy Act or regulations established thereunder. Title 18 U.S.C. 1001, Crimes and Criminal Procedures, makes it a criminal offense, subject to a maximum fine of $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 5 years or both, to knowingly and willfully make or cause to be made any false or fraudulent statements or representations in any matter within the jurisdiction of any agency of the United States.
(1) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), investigatory materials maintained by an agency component in connection with any activity relating to criminal law enforcement in the following systems of records are exempt from all subsections of 5 U.S.C. 552a, except (b), (c) (1) and (2), (e)(4) (A) through (F), (e) (6), (7), (9), (10), and (11), and (i), and from the provisions of this section, except as otherwise provided in 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2):
Office of Inspector General Investigative Files—FTC
(2) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), investigatory materials compiled for law enforcement purposes in the following systems of records are exempt from subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I), and (f) of 5 U.S.C. 552a, and from the provisions of this section, except as otherwise provided in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2):
Investigational, Legal, and Public Records—FTC
Disciplinary Action Investigatory Files—FTC
Clearance to Participate Applications and the Commission's Responses Thereto, and Related Documents—FTC
Management Information System—FTC
Office of the Secretary Control and Reporting System—FTC
Office of Inspector General Investigative Files—FTC
Stenographic Reporting Service Requests—FTC
Identity Theft Complaint Management System—FTC
Freedom of Information Act Requests and Appeals—FTC
Privacy Act Requests and Appeals—FTC
Information Retrieval and Indexing System—FTC
(3) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5), investigatory materials compiled to determine suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, military service, Federal contracts, or access to classified information, but only where disclosure would reveal the identity of a confidential source of information, in the following systems of records are exempt from subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4) (G), (H), and (I), and (f) of 5 U.S.C. 552a, and from the provisions of this section, except as otherwise provided in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5):