1. COMPLIANCE WITH THE VIDEO PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT OF 1998.
This chapter describes the requirements and prohibitions of the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (“the Act”), and explains how OTT.X members can comply with the Act. The Act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on November 5, 1988. It starts with a basic presumption against disclosure by a video retailer of information that identifies a particular customer with respect to a request for, or the purchase or rental of, specific video products or services.
The Act then sets forth six permissible exceptions under which such disclosure can be made. In other words, it is a violation of this federal law to make such disclosure except in one of the six circumstances under which a video retailer is specifically authorized to do so. These six circumstances are discussed in more detail below, but briefly stated, they are:
Disclosure to the consumer himself or herself;
Disclosure to any person who has obtained the informed, written consent of the consumer;
Disclosure to a law enforcement agency in response to a federal judicial warrant, an equivalent state warrant, a grand jury subpoena, or a court order;
Disclosure in a civil legal proceeding, pursuant to a court order;
Disclosure to any person of customer lists, giving only the customers’ names and addresses, provided that:
the customers have previously had an opportunity to forbid such disclosure, and the list does not indirectly disclose the general category of the video product in question, or
the customer list disclosure is exclusively for the marketing of goods and services back to the consumer (in which case the list may indirectly indicate the general subject matter – not specific titles – of the videos);
Disclosure to any person in the “ordinary course of business” of the video dealer, which is limited to: “debt collection,” order fulfillment, request processing, and transfer of ownership.
Strict adherence to the Act’s prohibitions is prudent because the Act gives persons harmed by a violation of its prohibitions the right to seek damages. At the same time, the law prohibits any dealer from being found liable as the result of lawful disclosure permitted by the Act.
The Act requires dealers to remove their customers’ “personally identifiable information” from their records as soon as practical, but in any event within one year from the time that the information is no longer “necessary for the purpose for which it was collected,” unless there are pending requests or orders for access under the statute or appropriate state and local laws.
2. WHO IS COVERED?
The statute applies to “video tape service providers.” This term is defined to include “any person, engaged in the business of rental, sale, or delivery of prerecorded video cassette tapes or similar audio visual materials.” Thus, the Act covers all video retailers regardless of whether they deal in DVD, high definition discs, digital downloads, or video cassettes.
The term “video tape service provider” also includes the company’s employees. For this reason, disclosures made among employees would not be disclosures made by a video tape service provider to an outside person and would not be governed by the Act. In other words, if a sales person who waited on a customer disclosed to another store employee what the customer had requested or obtained, that would not be a violation of the Act.
This makes sense since the consumer would normally expect that such an exchange of information would take place among the employees with regard to his patronage. Nevertheless, in practice, restricting access to your business records as much as feasible is a useful precaution to minimize the opportunity for unauthorized disclosure.
Also governed by the Act are persons to whom a retailer might disclose customer information under one of the six exceptions. Suppose, for example, a disclosure is made to a company buying information in order to market items to the retailer’s customers, and that marketing company in turn discloses some of the information to the press. The marketing company would, in such a case, be in violation of the VPPA.
3. WHAT CUSTOMER INFORMATION IS COVERED?
The focus of the statute is on information which indicates the kind of tapes or specific titles which the customer requests, rents, purchases, etc. But a retailer is not prohibited from disclosing the mere fact that a customer rented videos, was late in returning them, or was in the store accompanied by other particular people. Thus, for example, the store’s employees could respond to a policeman asking whether they could identify someone from a photograph as having been in the store.
The information covered and protected by the Act must relate to the home video business of the store which carries home video products as well as other lines of business. Thus, a supermarket could not indicate what video tapes have been rented, but could describe the grocery purchases made by the same customer.
The information need not be from written records. A store clerk relating to a reporter his or her recollection of a customer’s viewing habits would clearly be an unlawful disclosure under the Act.
4. WHAT ARE THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL PROHIBITION ON DISCLOSURE?
Disclosure to the Consumer — The first exception to the general prohibition on disclosure is self-evident. It is not a violation for a video store to disclose to the consumer himself or herself what videos the customer has requested, rented or purchased.
Disclosure with the Written Consent of the Consumer — Here, the person requesting the disclosure must present the store with a written and contemporaneous statement of “informed consent” by the consumer (unless the disclosure also qualifies under exception #5, discussed below). “Informed consent” requires that the consumer be aware of the person requesting the disclosure and the extent and nature of the information sought. It is important that the store verify this written consent with the consumer. Here, as elsewhere, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Also, the customer must have given the consent roughly contemporaneously with the request for disclosure, i.e., within several weeks of the request. Congress’ point is that a customer might agree to have his or her records disclosed at a time when there is no particular reason to be concerned about it; subsequently, he or she might become reluctant to have the information disclosed because his or her position in the community has changed, a dispute has arisen, or circumstances have otherwise changed.
Disclosure in Response to a Criminal Search Warrant or Grand Jury Subpoena — The law permits compliance with a legitimate federal law enforcement agency request. However, a mere inquiry by a federal law enforcement official is insufficient. There must be presented to the retailer either a grand jury subpoena, a warrant issued under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, or some other federal court order.
In the latter two cases, the review by a federal judge is intended to assure that it is not simply a fishing expedition or witch hunt and that in fact there is probable cause to believe that the information is relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry.
Retailers may also respond to a demand for disclosure from a state law enforcement agency if the demand is made under judicial authority. In these circumstances, the retailer can rely on the validity of a warrant or court order. If the requests are unreasonably voluminous or burdensome, a dealer may also seek to have the disclosure order modified, or sections of it eliminated altogether. This protection is specifically provided to retailers in the Act.
Disclosure in Response to a Court Order in a Civil Proceeding — A store can disclose otherwise private information in response to a court order in a civil proceeding. However, the court is required by the Act to issue such an order only if there is a “compelling need” for such information, and only if the need cannot be accommodated any other way.
Here again the statute prohibits the court from issuing such an order unless the customer has reasonable notice and opportunity to appear in court and oppose the disclosure. Although the statute expressly provides that the retailer can rely on the validity of a court order, it would be prudent to call the clerk of the court to make sure that at least the customer (1) did have notice, and (2) an opportunity to contest the disclosure order.
It also should be emphasized that this exemption requires a court order — not merely a subpoena for routine discovery proceedings, automatically authorized by the clerk of the court. If you are in doubt whether the subpoena is a mere discovery subpoena in a civil case rather than a grand jury subpoena or a search warrant signed by a judicial officer, do not hesitate to call your lawyer or the office of the United States Attorney in your district.
The Sale or Disclosure of Customer Lists — The basic purpose of the exception for disclosure of customer lists is to permit dealers and others involved in the home video business to sell customer lists which provide only names and addresses, but no information concerning the nature of the videos which the consumer sought, rented or purchased.
However, Congress recognized that in some cases the specialty nature of a dealer’s business might itself indicate that its customers were interested in particular kinds of videos. In addition, some dealers may wish to be able to respond to requests from potential purchasers of a list of customers interested in a particular kind of video.
For example, a golf course seeking new members might ask to purchase only a list of customers who rent instructional videos on golf. For this reason, this exception also permits the disclosure of information about customers when it will indicate the subject matter of the materials, provided that the person to whom the disclosure is made agrees to use it exclusively for marketing goods and services directly back to that particular consumer.
Note that even in this circumstance the actual titles of videos bought or rented cannot be disclosed.
Caution: There is a catch to a retailer’s ability to use this exception! Regardless of whether a customer list will indirectly reveal the category of product, the dealer must have previously provided each consumer with the opportunity to prohibit such disclosure and the consumer must have been warned of that opportunity “in a clear and conspicuous manner.”
Under this approach, a consumer is told that if he or she does not want his or her name and address circulated or does not want to receive certain materials, he or she must make a negative choice and check a box indicating that fact. If the customer does nothing, his or her permission will be inferred.
This opportunity to exercise a so-called “negative option” must be in a time frame that makes the notice meaningful. Congress intended to require something more than a rushed review of a sales slip. Congress’ official explanation of the bill also indicates that the phrase “clear and conspicuous manner” should be “given its common sense meaning and may not be interpreted to allow ‘fine print’ notice on the reverse side of a business form or other notice that a consumer is unlikely to see.”
The language should be printed legibly. But more important than the absolute size of the print is the importance of the selection of print at least as large as the print used for the rest of the rental or sales contract, receipt, video club membership literature, etc. The official explanation of the Act goes on to state:
“Video tape service providers are encouraged to provide other kinds of notice that may help inform the consumer of his or her right to limit disclosure, such as a placard near a cash register for point of sale transactions or an additional notice for direct mail solicitation.”
Before selling or otherwise providing information under this section, a video business should carefully consider whether the nature of the request for information or the nature of its own video business means that disclosure of a customer list will indirectly reveal the category of subject matter in which the listed consumers have indicated an interest.
In that case, the video business would seem to have the additional obligation to obtain a written statement from the list purchaser of its intent to use the list only for the limited permissible purpose, i.e., marketing goods and services back to those listed customers. In the typical case where such lists are licensed or “rented” to another business, we suggest this information be incorporated into a dealer’s standard “list rental” contract form.
In such circumstances, if the recipient of the list subsequently does not abide by that written statement of intent, they would be liable themselves for violating the Act, but the video dealer would not be liable for the recipient’s failure to abide by that representation.
Disclosure in the “Ordinary Course of Business” — In some situations, the daily requirements of carrying on a video business might require disclosure. For example, if a consumer challenged a collection agency’s efforts by denying that particular videos were outstanding, or that a debt was owed for the rental or purchase of specific videos.
However, the statute specifically limits this “ordinary course of business” exception to the listed categories of(1) debt collection, (2) order fulfillment, (3) request processing, and (4) transfer of ownership.
5. WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE?
The Act does not make unauthorized disclosure a crime. However, any person harmed by a violation of this law is authorized to sue in federal court. The court may award actual damages, but not less than $2,500 and the court may also award punitive damages and reasonable attorney fees and court costs, as well as any injunctions or other orders that the court finds appropriate.
6. WHEN MAY RECORDS BE RETAINED; WHEN MUST THEY BE DESTROYED?
The Act recognizes that personally identifiable information may be useful for a store to retain. However, the law seeks to eliminate any unnecessary retention, perhaps on the theory that it simply provides a dangerous opportunity for unauthorized disclosure to take place.
Therefore, the law requires that such identifiable information be destroyed as soon as possible, and in any event within one year from the date that the information is no longer necessary for the purpose for which it has been collected.
Congress specifically considered the desire of some retailers to maintain such information for future marketing efforts, e.g., to families who have consistently purchased or rented a particular genre of films so that they can be approached at Christmas time with the new holiday release.
It is understood that dealers could retain information so long as there was a reasonable prospect of using it in that manner or some other legitimate use. Note, this “business purpose” rationale for retaining information within the video business itself is much broader than the few specific categories listed above for the “ordinary course of business” exception (under which disclosure may be made to a third party).
7. ACCOMMODATION OR PREEMPTION OF STATE LAWS GOVERNING DISCLOSURE
The Act supersedes state and local law to the extent that the federal law provides equal or greater privacy protection to the consumers. If a state or local law is even stricter and would prohibit disclosure in situations where this federal law would permit it, the federal law expressly says that the state law is to be followed and disclosure denied.
In other words, Congress sought to impose a uniform nationwide policy to protect video records but sought not to interfere with state or local laws which afford even greater protection for such customer records.
8. RETAILER LIABILITY FOR UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE BY EMPLOYEES
A video retailer is responsible for unlawful disclosures by its employees if a court finds that the employee was authorized to make such disclosures.
In addition, state laws providing for so-called “vicarious liability” of employers sometimes result in an employer being held liable for the acts of employees even when those acts were not authorized. You are undoubtedly familiar with this phenomenon. The general law is that a court will take into account all the facts and circumstances of the employee’s action in deciding this issue, which is usually phrased as whether the “employee was acting within the scope of his employment.”
That legal inquiry is essentially another way of asking whether, under the circumstances, the company should or should not be held liable for the acts of the employee.
Where the unlawful act by the employee clearly violates an express prohibition made clear to the employee by the employer, that is a probative factor considered by the courts in almost every state. But so is the question of whether the employee could have, in good faith, mistakenly believed that the action would help the business. Even if the disclosure personally benefits the employee, that fact will not automatically prevent a court from finding that it was done “within the scope of employment.”
Congress did not wish to change the general rules of law regarding employer liability in the 50 states. Nevertheless, the principal sponsors of the bill recognized the need to provide some guidance to both video dealers and the courts concerning the kinds of steps that might be taken to ensure that employees understand that disclosure is not permitted by law and company policy.
For this reason, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees noted that an explicit store policy which requires compliance with this Act “may be relevant.” The report goes on to state that even a clearly defined policy would not be exculpatory if it is not enforced.
The official explanation of the bill then suggests activities which a video retailer could undertake:
“To ensure compliance with the law, video tape service providers are urged to explain the Federal law and the store’s policy of compliance with it; warn their employees that disclosure of personal information by anyone not designated to do so on behalf of the business is grounds for dismissal; and post conspicuous notice of the law and store policy in plain view of all employees (such as at the customer counter and by the telephone).”
In order to maximize the ability of a video retailer to argue that unauthorized disclosures were not made within the scope of an employee’s employment, EMA has prepared a preventive program along these lines which retailers might follow. Use of the preventative program or one like it will leave little room for a court or jury to find that unauthorized disclosure had been undertaken with implicit permission — or in the employees’ misguided belief that it would further the interest of the business, or otherwise was within the employee’s “scope of employment.”
It should be clearly understood that the statute does not guarantee that following this preventive program, or a similar one, will provide automatic immunity from liability for an employee’s unauthorized acts. Nonetheless, given the clear suggestion by Congress of the type of program which dealers should undertake in this regard, we feel that following such a program would enable a video dealer to make a very strong case to a court, within the context of the applicable state law, that the employee’s acts were not “within the scope of employment,” and, therefore, that the employer is not liable.
Two key components of the suggested program are that employees be orally briefed about the requirements of the law and company policy of compliance and given a written summary to review. To assist in implementing this program or another one like it, we have included the following items at Section 10:
A suggested notice for placement on retailers’ employee bulletin board, requiring compliance with the Video Privacy Protection Act and the employer’s policy.
A brief summary of the law and draft store policy to be shown to employees.
A draft statement of acknowledgment for employees to sign indicating that they have been briefed and understand both the law’s requirements and the store policy regarding compliance with it.
Alternate versions of each of these two items are included for those managers who will be authorized to make limited disclosures under the Act to the customers themselves and to police officers with judicially approved court orders.
The alternate versions referred to in item # 4 above may not be appropriate for all retailers. Many retailers will chose not to delegate authority to make disclosures of any information governed by the Act. Because of the exposure to civil damages for violation of the Act, any delegation of such authority should be made only to managers well trained on this subject and in whom the highest confidence is placed.
A copy of the Act, now codified in Title 18, United States Code, Section 2710,
is available here.
9. FULL TEXT: THE VIDEO PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT
The entire text of the VPPS is available here.
10. SUGGESTED PROGRAM: COMPLIANCE WITH THE VIDEO PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT:
A video dealer should:
Provide all employees with a written summary of the Act and store policy of compliance with the Act (such as the one provided in Section 11), and indicate that a full text of the statute is available should they wish to read it (see Section 9).
Ensure that every employee has read the summary and, in addition, has been orally briefed by a member of Management who is trained in providing such briefings.
Require employees to read the acknowledgment of briefing statement (see Section 11), have it explained to them, and be given an opportunity to ask questions about any aspect which they do not understand. The employee should then be required to sign the acknowledgment in the presence of a witness. Those statements should be kept on file.
Provide, on a periodic basis (no less frequently than every six months) a copy of the acknowledgment of briefing to all employees to remind them of their obligations and of the store policy regarding disclosure.
Post a conspicuous, brief notice of the law and store policy in plain view in each store, at such places as the customer counter and by any telephones. (A suggested notice is provided in Section 11.)
Designate those persons authorized to make disclosure under specified conditions, and brief them in detail as to the circumstances under which disclosure may be made. Keep the number as small as possible. The safest procedure is to require all requests for disclosure to be referred to a store official designated to make such decisions.
Identify any state, county, or local law regarding the privacy of home video information about individual customers. If the state or local law provides greater protection than does the federal law (that is, if it prohibits disclosures the federal law would permit), then follow the stricter state or local law and refrain from disclosure.
Review any document retention program. To the extent records are maintained for more than a brief period (a few weeks), and particularly to the extent that any customer records are maintained beyond one year from the date of the transaction they reflect, the dealer must ensure that they are being kept for a valid business purpose, such as to provide a database for marketing efforts directed at the customer with regard to subsequent releases.
If no such valid business purpose can be identified, then the records, or at least any personally identifiable information, should be destroyed as soon as possible.
If one or more business purposes has been identified, the dealer should make a written record of that purpose, designate that purpose on the records which contain the information, or do both. In addition, the store should have a systematic program for destroying such records, or erasing the personally identifiable information about video product, as soon as its utility for the specified purpose ceases.
When requests are made for disclosure, those persons authorized to do so should:
Satisfy themselves whether the request fits a particular exemption under the statute from the general prohibition against disclosure.
Depending upon the circumstances, advice of legal counsel may be necessary. For example, if presented with a federal court order for disclosure in connection with a private litigation, the persons authorized to make the disclosure should satisfy themselves that the customer had an opportunity to oppose issuance of the order.
If the dealer wishes to be in a position to sell or otherwise provide a list of its customers, then he or she must be sure it has previously provided all customers an adequate, conspicuous opportunity to indicate by a check-off that the customer does not wish his or her name to be disclosed.
If an employee is not authorized to disclose customer information — is forbidden to do so — but makes such a disclosure, the dealer should:
Dismiss the employee immediately on that ground.
Even if the employee, contrary to explicit instructions, makes a disclosure, which turns out not to be a violation because it satisfies one of the exemptions, dismissal is recommended.
Any decision not to dismiss the employee should be undertaken only after consultation with counsel. Failure to dismiss may have a harmful impact on a retailer’s ability to avoid being held liable for unauthorized disclosure under this Act or similar state or local laws.
11. SAMPLE FORMS:*
*Note: Printing the following material directly from this web page may not yield satisfactory results, due to the many incompatibilities among printers and web browsers. The following text-based forms should, therefore, be copied and re-formatted as documents in a word processor. This copyrighted material is intended for use only by members of the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA).
SUMMARY OF STATUTE AND STORE POLICY FOR REVIEW BY STORE EMPLOYEES
This notice summarizes a federal law and the policy of this company with respect to adherence to that law. The Video Privacy Protection Act prohibits unauthorized disclosure of information about the home videos purchased, rented, or requested by our customers.
It is a violation of this federal law for you or anyone else to disclose such information to anyone outside the store staff, except in a few specific circumstances listed in the statute.
It is the firm policy of this company to comply fully with this federal statute, in every respect. Specifically, in your own case, you are not authorized to make any disclosure. You are not authorized to do so, even under the exceptions listed in the statute. Such disclosure is not part of your duties.
For purposes of your employment by the store, there are no circumstances under which you are authorized to disclose any information regarding the specific titles, or the general category, of video products requested, rented, or purchased by our customers.
This includes requests for such information from: law enforcement officials; other government officials; lawyers who show you court documents or orders; collection agencies employed by our company; newspaper, TV or radio reporters; or persons seeking to purchase information for marketing purposes.
In the case of any request for such information, including requests made by a customer about his own past selections, you should immediately notify the manager or acting manager of the store on duty at that time and simply leave the request to them.
If you violate the statute, you will be personally liable and could be sued in federal court for damages. You also could be found liable for punitive damages.
In addition to those legal penalties, if you make any disclosure, it will result in your immediate dismissal.
Under no circumstances, should you believe that your disclosure might in fact help our business. Disclosure by you will not help our company and, we repeat, it will be grounds for immediate dismissal.
THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY
CUSTOMER RECORDS: STORE POLICY FOR REVIEW BY DESIGNATED MANAGERS
This notice summarizes a federal law which prohibits unauthorized disclosure of information about the home video films sought by our customers.
The Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 makes it a violation of federal law for you or anyone else to disclose such information to anyone outside of the store staff, except in a few specific circumstances listed in the statute.
If you violate the statute by disclosing this type of information, except in the case of a specific exemption under the statute, you will be personally liable and can be sued in federal court for damages. You also could be found liable for punitive damages. You even could be subject to an injunction barring you from future employment in the home video business.
In addition to those legal penalties, if you make any disclosures other than those authorized below, it will result in your immediate dismissal.
Even if an authorized disclosure turns out not to be a violation of the statute, because it falls within one of the exceptions, that will still be regarded as completely unauthorized by the company and a violation of express instructions prohibiting you from making such disclosure and requiring you to refer a request to the owner. Therefore, disclosure, whether or not it is found to be a violation of the statute, will be grounds for immediate dismissal from your employment with this company.
There are no exceptions to this policy.
Under no circumstances, should you believe that your making an unauthorized disclosure might actively help our business. Disclosure by you will not help our company and, we repeat, it will be grounds for immediate dismissal.
When you are serving as the _______________________________, you are authorized to make disclosure only in the following two instances:
When requested by the customer himself or herself with respect to information relating only to him or her (including minor children for which the customer is the legal guardian) upon satisfactory photo proof of identification; or it you know them personally.
In response to a law enforcement officer who displays satisfactory identification and also presents a search warrant issued by a federal or state court judge. If a law enforcement officer presents a court order (not a search warrant) in a criminal case, then you are to refer the request to __________________________________.
You are also authorized to provide to a law enforcement official information about customers or other individuals, as long as the information does not indicate the title or general subject matter of the videos which the customer has requested, rented, or purchased.
Thus, you would be free to respond to a policeman’s question about whether you had seen a particular individual in the store and whether or not they had expressed an interest generally in renting a video. You are also authorized to request that other employees respond to requests for this type of information.
On the other hand, if police tell you that they found a particular video from our store near the scene of a crime, and ask you for the name of the customer who rented it, you may not provide that information under this federal law. Such information would identify a customer with a particular title and is forbidden by the new federal law when requested by the police without a warrant or court order.
All other requests for disclosures of personally identifiable information must be referred to ________________________________________.
DESIGNATED MANAGERS ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF BRIEFING RE: VIDEO PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT
I, ___<employee’s name>________ have been briefed by the management of ____<store or company name>_____ (“Management”) regarding the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (“Act”) and Management’s policy to implement and comply with the Act.
I understand that, with some very limited exceptions (two of which are discussed below and others not within the scope of my duties), this statute makes it a violation of federal law for anyone involved in the home video business, including myself, to disclose any information concerning particular video materials or services which a customer has requested or obtained by rental, sale, or other arrangement. This includes the titles or categories of films. I understand that it is a fundamental policy of Management that this federal law will be fully obeyed.
I understand that, except as specifically provided below, I am not authorized by Management to make any disclosure of such information –even if someone suggests that disclosure would come under an exception in the federal law.
I understand that any disclosure of information by me contrary to the specific authorization provided below is contrary to the best interests of this company, is not part of my duties, and would be a direct violation of my employer’s explicit instructions as to the terms, nature, and scope of my employment.
I also understand that if I disclose information about customers’ rental, purchase, or request of video products contrary to the company policy, it will be grounds for immediate dismissal, even if such disclosure does not turn out to be a violation of federal or state law.
I have been briefed on each paragraph of this acknowledgment and have carefully read the attached summary of the federal law and the company policy
(Name of Manager or Other Person Performing Briefing)
on this__________________day of_____________________, __________.
(Name of Employee)
(Name of Witness)
All other requests for disclosures of personally identifiable information should be referred to
EMPLOYEE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF BRIEFING RE: VIDEO PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT
I, _<employee’s name_______ have been briefed by the management of the ___<store or company name>______ (“Management”) regarding the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (“Act”) and Management’s policy to implement and comply with the Act.
I understand that, with some very limited exceptions, not relevant to me or my duties, this statute makes it a violation of federal law for anyone involved in the home video business, including myself, to disclose any information concerning particular video materials or services which a customer has requested or obtained by rental, sale, or other arrangement. This includes the titles or categories of films. I understand that it is a fundamental policy of Management that this federal law be fully obeyed.
I understand that I am not authorized by Management to make any disclosure of such information — even if someone suggests that disclosure would come under an exception in the federal law. Therefore, I am not authorized to try to interpret the statute and decide when such disclosures are authorized as an exception, or to attempt to decide whether the procedure required in the case of such exceptions have been used. I understand that I am expressly forbidden to do so.
I fully understand that I will refer all requests for disclosure and all decisions about the requirements of any federal, state or local laws or court orders to the store manager on duty at the time the request is made.
I understand that, regardless of the circumstances, any disclosure of information by me is contrary to the best interests of this company, is not part of my duties, and would be a direct violation of my employer’s explicit instructions as to the terms, nature and scope of my employment.
I also understand that if I disclose information about customers’ rental, purchase, or request of video products, it will be grounds for immediate dismissal, even if such disclosure does not turn out to be a violation of federal or state law.
I have been briefed on each paragraph of this acknowledgment and have carefully read the attached summary of the federal law and the company policy
(Name of Manager or Other Person Performing Briefing)
on this__________________day of_____________________, __________.
(Name of Employee)
(Name of Witness)