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Privacy Act System Notice 09-20-0160

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System name: Records of Subjects in Health Promotion and Education Studies. HHS/CDC/NCCDPHP.

System location: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, Koger/Columbia Bldg., Rm. 3008, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724.

A list of contractor sites where individually identifiable data are currently located is available upon request to the system manager.

Categories of individuals covered by the system: Adults and children, including health and education agency administrators, school health personnel, teachers, parents, and students who participate in studies and surveys designed to obtain data on their knowledge, attitudes, and reported behavior related to a variety of health problems and/or other potentially preventable conditions of public health significance; also included are control group participants.

Categories of records in the system: Responses to questionnaires by adults and children, including health and education agency administrators, school health personnel, teachers, parents, and students, pertaining to health knowledge, attitudes and behavior, site visit data, organizational data regarding health education in school curriculum, course content, medical histories, demographic data of the survey population as well as identification data for follow-up purposes.

Authority for maintenance of the system: Public Health Service Act, Section 301, "Research and Investigation" (42 U.S.C. 241).

Purpose(s): This record system enables the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials to develop and evaluate existing health promotion programs for disease prevention and control, and to communicate new knowledge to the health community for the implementation of such programs.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses: Disclosure may be made to CDC contractors in the conduct of research studies covered by this system notice and in the preparation of scientific reports, in order to accomplish the stated purpose of the system. The recipients will be required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards with respect to such records.

Disclosure may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to a verified inquiry from the congressional office made at the written request of that individual.

In the event of litigation where the defendant is: (a) the Department, any component of the Department, or any employee of the Department in his or her official capacity; (b) the United States where the Department determines that the claim, if successful, is likely to directly affect the operations of the Department or any of its components; or (c) any Department employee in his or her individual capacity where the Department of Justice has agreed to represent such employee, for example, in defending a claim against the Public Health Service based upon an individual's mental or physical condition and alleged to have arisen because of activities of the Public Health Service in connection with such individual, disclosure may be made to the Department of Justice to enable that Department to present an effective defense, provided that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:

Storage: Computer tapes/disks, CD ROMs,  and file folders.

Retrievability: Name of individual, identification number, school name and year tested are some of the indices used to retrieve records from this system.


  1. Authorized Users: Access is granted to only a limited number of researchers and designated support staff of CDC or its contractors, as authorized by the system manager to accomplish the stated purposes for which the data in this system have been collected.
  1. Physical Safeguards: Access to the CDC Clifton Road facility where the mainframe computer is located is controlled by a cardkey system. Access to the computer room is controlled by a cardkey and security code (numeric keypad) system. The hard copy records are kept in locked cabinets in locked rooms. The local fire department is located directly next door to the Clifton Road facility. The computer room is protected by an automatic sprinkler system, numerous automatic sensors (e.g., water, heat, smoke, etc.) are installed, and a proper mix of portable fire extinguishers is located throughout the computer room. The system is backed up on a nightly basis with copies of the files stored off site in a secure fireproof safe. Security guard service in buildings provides personnel screening of visitors.  Computer work stations and automated records are located in secured areas.  
  1. Procedural Safeguards: Protection for computerized records both on the mainframe and the National Center Local Area Network (LAN) includes programmed verification of valid user identification code and password prior to logging on to the system, mandatory password changes, encryption, limited log-ins, virus protection, and user rights/file attribute restrictions. Password protection imposes user name and password log-in requirements to prevent unauthorized access. Each user name is assigned limited access rights to files and directories at varying levels to control file sharing. There are routine daily backup procedures and  secure off-site storage for backup tapes. When Privacy Act tapes are scratched, a special  process is performed in which tapes are completely written over to avoid inadvertent data disclosure. Additional safeguards may be built into the program by the system analyst as warranted by the sensitivity of the data.

CDC and contractor employees who maintain records are instructed to check with the system manager prior to making disclosures of data. When individually identified data are being used in a room, admittance at either CDC or contractor sites is restricted to specifically authorized personnel. Privacy Act provisions are included in contracts, and the CDC Project Director, contract officers and project officers oversee compliance with these requirements. Upon completion of the contract, all data will be either returned to CDC or destroyed, as specified by the contract.

  1. Implementation Guidelines:  The safeguards outlined above are in accordance with the HHS Information Security Program Policy and FIPS Pub 200, “Minimum Security Requirements for Federal Information and Information Systems.” Data maintained on CDC’s Mainframe and the National Center LAN are in compliance with OMB Circular A-130, Appendix III. Security is provided for information collection, processing, transmission, storage, and dissemination in general support systems and major applications.

Retention and disposal: Records are retained and disposed of in accordance with the CDC Records Control Schedule.  Records are maintained in agency for two years. Source documents for computer disposed of when no longer needed by program officials. Personal identifiers may be deleted from records when no longer needed in the study as determined by the system manager, and as provided in the signed consent form, as appropriate. Disposal methods include erasing computer tapes, burning or shredding paper materials or transferring records to the Federal Records Center when no longer needed for evaluation and analysis. Records destroyed by paper recycling process when 20 years old, unless needed for further study.

System manager(s) and address: Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion,  Koger/Columbia Bldg., Rm. 3008,  MS K40, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724.

Notification procedure: An individual may learn if a record exists about himself or herself by contacting the system manager at the above address.  Requesters in person must provide driver's license or other positive identification. Individuals who do not appear in person must either: (1) submit a notarized request to verify their identity; or (2) certify that they are the individuals they claim to be and that they understand that the knowing and willful request for or acquisition of a record pertaining to an individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense under the Privacy Act subject to a $5,000 fine.

An individual who requests notification of or access to medical records shall, at the time the request is made, designate in writing a responsible representative who is willing to review the record and inform the subject individual of its contents at the representative's discretion.

A parent or guardian who requests notification of, or access to a child's medical record shall designate a family physician or other health professional (other than a family member) to whom the record, if any, will be sent. The parent or guardian must verify relationship to the child by means of a birth certificate or court order, as well as verify that he or she is who he or she claims to be.

The following information must be provided when requesting notification: (1) full name; (2) the approximate date and place of the study, if known; and (3) nature of the questionnaire or study in which the requester participated.

Record access procedures: Same as notification procedures. Requesters should also reasonably specify the record contents being sought. An accounting of disclosures that have been made of the record, if any, may be requested.

Contesting record procedures: Contact the official at the address specified under System Manager above, reasonably identify the record and specify the information being contested, the corrective action sought, and the reasons for requesting the correction, along with supporting information to show how the record is inaccurate, incomplete, untimely, or irrelevant.

Record source categories: Individuals, and participating public and private schools which maintain records on enrolled students.

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the act: None.

[Federal Register: November 24, 1986 (Volume 51, Number 226)] [Notices] [Page 42484-42485] (PDF - 880 Kb)


  • Page last updated: April 11, 2012
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