Privacy Act Overview

Welcome to the United States Air Force Privacy Act Office home page. This office serves to fulfill the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974. The Privacy Act of 1974 established a "Code of Fair Information Practice" that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information about individuals that is maintained in system of records by federal agencies. 

Purpose of the Privacy Act

The purpose of the Privacy Act of 1974, Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a, is to balance the U.S. Government's need to maintain information about individuals with the rights of individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasions of their privacy stemming from federal agencies' collection, maintenance, use and disclosure of personal information about them.

The Privacy Act grants rights to United States citizens and legal permanent residents. Under the Privacy Act, you:

  • Have the right to see records about yourself
  • Can correct a record that is inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely or incomplete

The Privacy Act mandates that the U.S. Government:

  • Informs you why information is being collected and how it is going to be used
  • Assures that information is accurate, relevant, complete and up-to-date before disclosing it to others
  • Allows you to find out about disclosures of your records to other agencies or persons
  •  Provides you with the opportunity to correct inaccuracies in your records

The Privacy Act applies only to records about individuals maintained by agencies in the executive branch of the government. It applies to these records only if they are kept in a "system of records."
A system of records is a group of records from which the information was retrieved by an individual's name, social security number, date of birth or some other personal identifier.

Mission

The mission of the Department of the Air Force (DAF) Privacy Program is to preserve and enhance privacy protections for all individuals who entrust their personal information to the DAF by embedding and enforcing privacy protections throughout all of DAF's activities. The Privacy Program implements requirements in the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended; E-Government Act of 2002; and the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA), as well as policy directives and best practices issued in furtherance of those Acts.

Submitting a Privacy Request

The Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act provide balance between the right of the public to obtain information from military service records, and the right of the veteran to protect their privacy.

If you are a member of the general public, limited amounts of information can be released to you from an individual's record. If you are the next of kin of a deceased veteran, you may, under certain circumstances, be entitled to greater access to the deceased veteran's record than may a member of the public. Specify your relationship to the veteran. You must sufficiently identify the person whose record is requested so that the record can be located with a reasonable amount of effort.

Click here for more information.

Department of the Air Force Privacy Awareness Video