USA: SEC approves revised Privacy Act rule
On September 20, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the approval of the finalized rule providing for amendments to the Privacy Act of 1974. This follows the original proposal by the SEC in February 2023. The finalized rule provides for a provision that simplifies the process for submitting and receiving responses to Privacy Act inquiries and administrative appeals, allowing requesters to submit electronic access requests to verify their identities. This includes by email or an online SEC form. Although the finalized rule now also requires the inclusion of information such as date, nature, and purpose of disclosure, the amendments implement a 90-day time period for requesters to file an administrative appeal in response to an adverse SEC decision. Regarding fees, the finalized rule also allows for the provision of one free copy of each record amended or corrected pursuant to a request for amendment or correction.
Notably, the finalized rule notes the removal of specific provisions that have now been incorporated into the Privacy Act and are no longer necessary. For instance, the finalized rule removes specific procedures for requests for access to medical records, as the medical records maintained by the SEC are now generally accessible through other means and the special procedures previously provided were never used.
Finally, the SEC stipulated that the amendments within the finalized rule replace the existing Privacy Act regulations in its entirety.