|CITATION||5 U.S.C. §§ 552a(o) et seq.|
The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act amended the Privacy Act by describing the manner in which Federal agencies could perform matching and by adding certain protections for individuals applying for and receiving Federal Benefits.
As amended, the Computer Matching and Privacy Act requires Federal agencies involved in computer matching programs to:
The Act provides integrity and fairness. Privacy is not protected by the Act.
|DATA COVERED||The law covers “Records” which means “any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an agency, including, but not limited to education, financial transactions, medical history and criminal or employment history and that contains name, or the identifying number, symbol or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finer or voice print or photograph.|
|INDUSTRY||Applies to the federal government and its agencies.|
If an agency fails to comply with the procedural requirements provided for in the Act, or fails to maintain any record concerning an individual, the individual may bring a civil action against the agency. The Federal Government is liable to the individual and the law provides that in “no case shall a person entitled to recovery receive less than the sum of $1,000”. The law also provides for the recovery of attorney’s fees.
If an officer or employee of a federal agency who, by reason of his/her job had access to agency records that contain individually identifiable information, willfully discloses it to any person not entitled to receive it, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $5,000. Similarly, any individual who obtains records under false pretenses shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $5,000.