Privacy Policy

Arlington County collects information, or data, about many things in our community. These include things like traffic congestion on our roads, current weather conditions in our neighborhoods, and the usage patterns of public spaces like parks and libraries.   

When collecting information, we do not try to identify specific individuals. We do look for high-level patterns in the data that can help us make the County work better for you.   

This portal provides access to our current policy documents that address privacy, transparency and related practices. 

Privacy Principles 

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Countywide Policies

The following policies are commonly applied across Arlington County Government: 

Departmental Policies


Community Planning, Housing & Development

Registering for a Permit Arlington account

Arlington County Government will not sell, rent or lease or otherwise disclose your personally identifiable information. Information may be shared with entities who are contractually acting on behalf of the County. Such entities are governed by this privacy policy with respect to the use of this data and are bound by the appropriate confidentiality agreements.

See Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Digital and Technology Services

ACG Website Terms & Conditions

Describes how Arlington County collects and uses information when you visit our website.

Online Public Participation

Explains how Arlington County uses online participation maintains orderly and civil discourse via social media platforms, websites, blogs, mobile apps or other services.

ACG Open Data Policy

Explains how Arlington County makes its data available and how it allows users to access and consume data in a convenient, consistent, secure and orderly fashion.

See Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Economic Development

Environmental Services

DES Customer Requested Access to Account Information

Defines the process for verifying the identity of customers when they are attempting to access account information or are attempting to discontinue service.

DES Employees in the Operations Service Area Video Review Policy

Establishes the process by which staff may review historical video content and data and is intended to prevent unreasonable video surveillance.

DES Record Retention Policy

Ensures the proper retention of records, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, provides a method of identifying and maintaining records, and provides a proper method for the destruction of records.

DES Video Systems Policy

Establishes a written directive governing the proper use of the County operated Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) System installed around and in the office building of Water Sewer Streets Bureau (WSSB) as well as the DriveCam System installed in the commercial vehicles of WSSB.

See Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Fire and EMS

Fire and EMS HIPAA policy

The Arlington County Fire Department may use your protected health information (PHI) for purposes of securing payment of ambulance charges.

See Virginia Freedom of Information Act and Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Human Resource Policy

Arlington County Employee Notice of Privacy Policy

Describes our privacy practices, which include how we might use, disclose (share or give out), collect, handle, and protect our members’ protected health information.

See Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Human Services

The Department of Human Services adheres to the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) and to US 42CFR Part 2 - Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records.

DHS Video Systems Policy

Explains how the department of human services operates and maintains video systems.

DHS Employee Confidentiality Agreement

Explains how the human services workforce member maintains the confidentiality of all information in connection with client services.

Full list of the DHS policies

See Virginia Freedom of Information Act.


Libraries Internet Access Policy

Describes how Arlington County Libraries utilize software to block the display of illegal and offensive material on all public computers with Internet access.

Libraries Privacy Policy

Describes the information we collect and how we store (or do not store) your information.

Libraries Public Computer Rules

Outlines general rules, liability limitation, and privacy statement for public computer usage.

Management and Finance

Requests for Proposals ( RFPs) 

RFPs may contain proprietary information, which is then kept confidential.

DMF Income and Expense Questionnaires

For commercial real estate assessments are kept confidential in accordance with 58.1-3 of the Code of Virginia.

DMF Application to Hide Property Owner's Name

Individuals can submit an application to remove property owners’ names during a property search site.

See Virginia Freedom of Information Act and Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA).


ACPD Digital Evidence Management System

Explains how the ACPD document digital audio and video recordings of law enforcement activity and interactions with the public, and how these recordings are used.

ACPD Electronic Communications and Internet Services

Explains how the ACPD utilizes electronic communication and internet services.

ACPD Release of Information

Explains the requirements ACPD upholds when making information available to the public.

ACPD Rules & Regulations

Entails the rules and regulations that all ACPD employees must adhere to.

See Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management

DPSCEM Standard Operating Procedures

Outlines how the department public safety and emergency management complies with the standards and procedures to ensure confidential and sensitive information is not relayed or disseminated.

Grants Management Bureau Subrecipient Handbook

A handbook for subrecipients to use in their day-to-day grant management administration.

See Virginia Freedom of Information Act.



Federal and Commonwealth Statutes



Privacy Policy FAQ

What is Arlington County doing to ensure compliance of privacy requirements?

DTS, in collaboration with the County Manager’s Office and the County’s Attorney’s Office regularly reviews changes to Commonwealth of Virginia and Federal Government law and policy regarding data privacy. These changes are vetted for applicability to local government and communicated to staff responsible for compliance.

In addition to the role of staff in DTS, outside counsel is received from the Governor of Virginia’s Commonwealth Cybersecurity Initiative (CCI) team to provide us with external validation and guidance.

How is the County balancing transparency and privacy?

  • The County also affirms its commitment to protecting personal information in our proactive release of data, through our Open Data Policy Exclusion for “Data that contains sensitive or confidential information that would infringe on privacy rights;”
  • There are, however, certain legal factors influence what can and cannot be withheld, such as requirements under Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA). 
  • Recent updates to VFOIA have strengthened privacy protections, specifically regarding “opt-out” versus “opt-in” for personal contact information submitted for electronic communication (see Virginia Code Section 2.2- 3705.1(10). However, more may need to be considered to meet the changing expectations of a concerned public.

How were the privacy principles established?

A large, cross-departmental workgroup reviewed privacy work from leading municipalities across the Commonwealth and the United States. They then reviewed these policies and principles in a local context and established our draft privacy principles. These draft principles are intended to guide our internal and external stakeholder discussions as we craft policy and procedure documentation.

Which departments are required to follow HIPAA?

Any department that regularly receives or processes health information is required to comply with the HIPAA. In Arlington County, the Department of Health and the Fire Department (EMS) are our primary covered entities.