Narrowing the “Routine Use” Exemption to the Privacy Act of 1974

This article suggests a balancing test to determine which routine uses of information legitimately fall within the Privacy Act. Part I briefly examines the background of the Act, concentrating on the legislative history of the routine use exemption, and examining problems the exemption presents. Part II then proposes a balancing test, based on notice and need for data, as a means of ascertaining proper routine uses.