Credit Co. Wins Round |in Privacy Act Dispute

     (CN) – A credit company did not violate the Privacy Act when it copied an employee’s security-clearance records, the 2nd Circuit ruled. In a per-curiam decision, the federal appeals court in Manhattan sided with Pioneer Credit Recovery.




     Because the company handled debt collection for the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Treasury Department, its employees needed security clearance.
     Stewart Burch objected to the company’s practice of photocopying his information and keeping it in the company’s permanent files. He said his complaint was actionable under the Privacy Act because Pioneer is a government-controlled corporation.
     The judges agreed with the district court that Pioneer does not qualify as a government agency.
     “These allegations do not amount to a sufficient level of oversight, supervision, and government connection to lead us to believe that Pioneer should be considered an ‘agency,” the judges ruled.

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