§ 402.100. Exemption six: Clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

(a) Documents affected. We may withhold records about individuals if disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of their personal privacy.

(b) Balancing test. In deciding whether to release records to you that contain personal or private information about someone else, we weigh the foreseeable harm of invading a person's privacy against the public interest in disclosure. In determining whether disclosure would be in the public interest, we will consider whether disclosure of the requested information would shed light on how a Government agency performs its statutory duties. However, in our evaluation of requests for records we attempt to guard against the release of information that might involve a violation of personal privacy because of a requester being able to “read between the lines” or piece together items that would constitute information that normally would be exempt from mandatory disclosure under Exemption Six.

(c) Examples. Some of the information that we frequently withhold under Exemption Six is: Home addresses, ages, and minority group status of our employees or former employees; social security numbers; medical information about individuals who have filed a claim for disability benefits; names and addresses of individual beneficiaries of our programs, or benefits such individuals receive; earnings records, claim files, and other personal information SSA maintains.

[62 FR 4154, Jan. 29, 1997, as amended at 63 FR 35132, June 29, 1998]