Privacy & Information Law Research Guide

This research guide focuses on U.S. state and federal privacy and information law.


Finding Federal Regulations

For a guide to the federal executive-branch regulatory process and the process of conducting federal administrative law research in general, see the Law Library's Administrative Law Research Guide.  Federal agencies' regulations appear in the following publications:

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There are numerous regulations and agencies that govern aspects of privacy and information law; a complete review of these is beyond the scope of this guide.  If you're not sure what regulations or agencies are relevant to your research project, you may want to begin with a treatise, such as one or more listed on the Secondary Sources page of this guide. 

For information on administrative research generally, see our Administrative Law Research Guide and the Administrative Law Research Tutorial.  For help finding the Federal Register and C.F.R. in print and online, see the "Finding Federal Regulations" box, left.  For help finding a specific state's regulations, consult that state's research guide.

Select additional resources for researching privacy regulations and agency materials are listed below.

Select Agency Websites

Multi-jurisdictional Research: 50-State Surveys

Fifty-state surveys track a single topic across the statutes (or regulations) of all 50 states.  They usually take the form of a state-by-state table or chart containing the citations to the laws on the given topic in each state, but generally contain little-to-no analysis.  A 50-State Survey will not be available for all topics, but, if there is one, it can serve as a valuable starting point when conducting multi-jurisdictional research on a topic. Check each of the below sources to see if there is a 50-state-survey already compiled for your topic. (Note the date of any 50-state-surveys you find; some updating may be required.)

Note that you can sometimes find multi-state surveys or multi-state issue-trackers online, such as on the websites of law firms or organizations that are interested in tracking specific topics across jurisdictions.  For example, the National Conference of State Legislatures also often has multi-state surveys for statutes or legislation (bill-tracking, etc.) on select topics.

Finally, American Law Reports (ALRs) also track a single, narrow legal issue across all U.S. jurisdictions. They typically include substantive analysis and useful research tools (such as a Table of Laws and cross-references to other secondary sources and research tools). ALRs are available on both Westlaw and Lexis.