45 CFR 5.67 - Exemption six: Clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
(a) Documents affected. We may withhold records about individuals if disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of their personal privacy.
(b) Balancing test. In deciding whether to release records to you that contain personal or private information about someone else, we weigh the foreseeable harm of invading that person's privacy against the public benefit that would result from the release. If you were seeking information for a purely commercial venture, for example, we might not think that disclosure would primarily benefit the public and we would deny your request. On the other hand, we would be more inclined to release information if you were working on a research project that gave promise of providing valuable information to a wide audience. However, in our evaluation of requests for records we attempt to guard against the release of information that might involve a violation of personal privacy because of a requester being able to “read between the lines” or piece together items that would constitute information that normally would be exempt from mandatory disclosure under Exemption Six.
(c) Examples. Some of the information that we frequently withhold under Exemption Six is: Home addresses, ages, and minority group status of our employees or former employees; social security numbers; medical information about individuals participating in clinical research studies; names and addresses of individual beneficiaries of our programs, or benefits such individuals receive; earning records, claim files, and other personal information maintained by the Social Security Administration, the Public Health Service, and theCenters for Medicare & Medicaid Services.