In his very first speech before the Congress on August 12, 1974, President Ford told the American people of his strong belief in the rights of privacy:

"There will be no illegal tappings (taping), eavesdropping, buggings, or break-ins by my Administration. There will be hot pursuit of tough laws to prevent illegal invasion of privacy in both government and private activities . . ."

The President, in stating his belief and support for the right of privacy, was following up on the commitment he had made earlier as Vice President, when he chaired the Domestic Council Committee on the Right of Privacy. On December 31, 1974, President Ford carried out his earlier promise, when he signed the Privacy Act of 1974 -- landmark legislation, which came about as a result of his leadership and the cooperative efforts of the Congress, Executive Branch, Federal agencies, and his Domestic Council Committee.

The Privacy Act gives Americans a greater say in the records about them are kept -- and it eliminates needless intrusions on personal privacy through the keeping of extraneous records. This Act has four key purposes. It assures that:

The President has kept his promise -- he has exerted strong leadership and, with the cooperation he fostered under this leadership, put into effect strong legislation to protect the privacy of the American people.

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