A. This chapter may be cited as the “Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act.”
B. The General Assembly finds that:
1. An individual’s privacy is directly affected by the extensive collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of personal information;
2. The increasing use of computers and sophisticated information technology has greatly magnified the harm that can occur from these practices;
3. An individual’s opportunities to secure employment, insurance, credit, and his right to due process, and other legal protections are endangered by the misuse of certain of these personal information systems; and
4. In order to preserve the rights guaranteed a citizen in a free society, legislation is necessary to establish procedures to govern information systems containing records on individuals.
C. Recordkeeping agencies of the Commonwealth and political subdivisions shall adhere to the following principles of information practice to ensure safeguards for personal privacy:
1. There shall be no personal information system whose existence is secret.
2. Information shall not be collected unless the need for it has been clearly established in advance.
3. Information shall be appropriate and relevant to the purpose for which it has been collected.
4. Information shall not be obtained by fraudulent or unfair means.
5. Information shall not be used unless it is accurate and current.
6. There shall be a prescribed procedure for an individual to learn the purpose for which information has been recorded and particulars about its use and dissemination.
7. There shall be a clearly prescribed and uncomplicated procedure for an individual to correct, erase or amend inaccurate, obsolete or irrelevant information.
8. Any agency holding personal information shall assure its reliability and take precautions to prevent its misuse.
9. There shall be a clearly prescribed procedure to prevent personal information collected for one purpose from being used for another purpose.
10. The Commonwealth or any agency or political subdivision thereof shall not collect personal information except as explicitly or implicitly authorized by law.
1976, c. 597, §§ 2.1-377, 2.1-378; 1987, c. 506; 2001, c. 844; 2003, cc. 791, 914, 918, 927; 2009, cc. 849, 867.