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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 20: Employees' Benefits
§401.140 General principles.
When no law specifically requiring or prohibiting disclosure applies to a question of whether to disclose information, we follow FOIA principles to resolve that question. We do this to insure uniform treatment in all situations. The FOIA principle which most often applies to SSA disclosure questions is whether the disclosure would result in a “clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” To decide whether a disclosure would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy we consider—
(a) The sensitivity of the information (e.g., whether individuals would suffer harm or embarrassment as a result of the disclosure);
(b) The public interest in the disclosure;
(c) The rights and expectations of individuals to have their personal information kept confidential;
(d) The public's interest in maintaining general standards of confidentiality of personal information; and
(e) The existence of safeguards against unauthorized redisclosure or use.