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Statement on Final Amendments under the Privacy Act

Sept. 20, 2023

Yesterday, the Commission voted to adopt amendments to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules under the Privacy Act of 1974, the principal law governing how the SEC handles personal information in SEC systems of records. I was pleased to support this adoption because it will update the Commission’s rules with respect to this important law. 

The Commission last updated rules related to the Privacy Act in 2011. The rules provide procedures for members of the public to access their records maintained by the Commission or request corrections to those records. 

This release updates the Commission’s Privacy Act rules in a number of ways. I will highlight three of them. 

First, the adopting release updates Privacy Act rules to reflect current Commission practices with regard to electronic identity verifications and Privacy Act inquiries, requests, and administrative appeals.

Second, the adopting release updates fee provisions to reflect existing practices for duplicating records. Our previous Privacy Act rules reflected largely outdated practices based on physically copying or duplicating documents. The release codifies the Commission’s current practice to charge requesters only for the direct costs of duplicating a record. Thus, there would be no fee in most cases involving electronic records.

Third, the adopting release provides procedures for members of the public to request information about if their personal data was disclosed by the Commission, and if so, the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure.

Taken together, these amendments will provide more clarity on how the public can access their records maintained by the Commission and request amendments. 

I’d like to thank the members of the SEC staff who worked on this adoption, including:

  • Mark Siford in the Office of Support Services; 
  • Darwana Hall in the Office of Information Technology;
  • Ardith Spence, Lauren Moore, and Oliver Richard in the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis; and
  • Mark Tallarico, Dorothy McCuaig, Elizabeth McFadden, Bryant Morris, Melinda Hardy, and Cynthia Bien in the Office of the General Counsel.
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