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Overview of the Privacy Act of 1974

Mailing Lists

“An individual’s name and address may not be sold or rented by an agency unless such action is specifically authorized by law.  This provision shall not be construed to require the withholding of names and addresses otherwise permitted to be made public.”  5 U.S.C. § 552a(n).


For a decision discussing this provision, see Disabled Officer’s Ass’n v. Rumsfeld, 428 F. Supp. 454, 459 (D.D.C. 1977), aff’d, 574 F.2d 636 (D.C. Cir. 1978) (unpublished table decision).  For a further discussion of this provision, see OMB Guidelines, 40 Fed. Reg. 28,948, 28,976 (July 9, 1975), available at

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Updated February 24, 2021