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Definitions

These terms are commonly used when talking about the Privacy Act of 1974 (Privacy Act).

Federal Register: The official location of documents including rules, proposed rules, and notices published by Federal agencies. Learn more about the Federal Register and access the Federal Register website.

Personally identifiable information (PII): Information that describes a specific individual. Learn more about Examples of PII, including a more detailed definition. 

Privacy Act Statement (PAS): The notice you will almost always receive if a Federal agency asks you for your PII and places that PII in a SOR. A PAS written for a Defense Health Agency (DHA) system should answer four questions:

  • Authority: What laws, regulations, and guidance allow DHA to request your PII?
  • Purpose: Why is your PII being requested and how will it be used within DoD?
  • Routine Use: If the requested PII will be disclosed outside the DoD, where will it be disclosed, and when will it be disclosed to those places?
  • Disclosure: Are you required to provide the requested PII and what will happen if you do not provide all the requested PII?

An example of a PAS.

Record: Information about an individual which is maintained by an agency. 

Routine Use: When a record is disclosed outside of the Federal agency that collected the record. Both PASs and SORNs will almost always discuss at least some of a SOR’s routine uses.

System of records (SOR): Generally created when records: 

  • Are controlled by a Federal agency;
  • Include PII; and
  • Are retrieved by a unique identifier such as a full name.

System of records notice (SORN): A notice published in the Federal Register that describes a SOR in detail. The DHA Privacy Office provides a list of all DHA SORNs.

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

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