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Adhering to the Privacy Act

If information is collected, it must be protected

Under the Privacy Act, USPS must follow rules on collecting, maintaining and using information.

The Postal Service is reminding employees that the Privacy Act of 1974 applies to collecting, using and maintaining personal information.

If a USPS business initiative involves any personally identifiable information, team members should contact the Postal Service’s Privacy and Records Management Office to determine whether the act’s provisions apply.

Here are some points about the Privacy Act employees should keep in mind:

• A Privacy Act statement must be provided when asking for personal information. The purpose of the statement is to provide informed consent and to explain why the organization is collecting information and how it will be used and to whom it will be disclosed.

The Privacy Act statement also discloses the authority the Postal Service is relying on to collect the data and what will happen if the information is not provided.

• Once information is collected and maintained by the Postal Service, disclosures to third parties are limited.

• Disclosure of information inside the organization is also generally prohibited without a need to know or explicit consent. The need to know is limited to those who require the information to perform official functions or duties.

Employees with questions can email the USPS Ethics Office or call the helpline at 202-268-6346.