Access to Information Laws

Federal Laws

State Laws


Personal Privacy Protection Law

What is the Personal Privacy Protection Law?

The Personal Privacy Protection Law, enacted in 1984, pertains to personal information collected and maintained by state agencies. State agencies are required to meet standards of fair information practices regarding the collection, maintenance, use and disclosure of personal information. The law enables individuals to correct or amend records pertaining to them, grants individuals broad rights of access to records pertaining to them, and prohibits the release of personal information, except under circumstances specified in the Law.

Who has access to my records under the Personal Privacy Protection Law?

The Personal Privacy Protection Law seeks to ensure that you have the right to inspect or copy records pertaining to you. As a general matter, records pertaining to you are available to you. The exception to that rule permits an agency to withhold records compiled for law enforcement purposes that would, if disclosed: 

  • Interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings;
  • Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication;
  • Identify a confidential source or disclose confidential information relating to a criminal investigation; or
  • Reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine techniques and procedures.

How do I request records under the Personal Privacy Protection Law?

When requesting records, you must submit a request in writing that "reasonably describes" the record sought. The request should be made in accordance with regulations that must be adopted by each agency concerning the procedural aspects of the law. The regulations must include the designation of a "privacy compliance officer" to whom a request may be directed.

On receipt of a request, the agency has five business days to respond. The agency may make the record available to the individual, deny the request in whole or in part and provide reason for the denial in writing, or furnish a written acknowledgment of the receipt of the request and a statement of the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied. That date cannot exceed 30 days from the date of acknowledgment.

If a request for a record is denied, an appeal may be directed to the head or governing body of the agency or to the person designated to determine appeals within 30 days of the denial.

If no response to a request is made within 5 business days of its receipt by the agency or within 30 days of an acknowledgment of its receipt, the request may be considered to have been denied. As such, the denial may be appealed.

An appeal should contain the date and location of a request for a record, reference to the record that was denied, and your name and return address.
A determination on appeal regarding a denial of access must be rendered within seven business days of its receipt. In its determination, the agency may grant access to the record or fully explain in writing the reasons for further denial. A denial on appeal must also inform you of the right to seek judicial review of the determination under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

For more information, see the Committee on Open Government



Contact Information

Human Resource Services

Address: 101 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681
Campus Location: Kehoe 912
Phone: (518) 564-5062
Fax: (518) 564-5060
Email: [email protected]

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 4:30 pm