Privacy Office Overview Edit

Created by Congress in 2002, the DHS Privacy Office (Privacy Office) is the first statutorily required privacy office in any federal agency, whose mission is to preserve and enhance privacy protections for all individuals, to promote the transparency of Department of Homeland Security (Department) operations, and to serve as a leader in the federal privacy community.

The Privacy Office has expertise in privacy laws, both domestic and international, that help inform privacy policy development both within the Department and in collaboration with the rest of the federal government. They are responsible for evaluating Department programs, systems, and initiatives for potential privacy impacts, and providing mitigation strategies to reduce the privacy impact. They also advise senior leadership to ensure that privacy protections are implemented throughout the Department.

Who Do They Serve? Edit

The Privacy Office is responsible for building a culture of privacy across the Department. They train Department personnel on the importance of safeguarding privacy and complying with federal laws and Department privacy policies. Constituents include the entire federal government, the broad community of privacy advocates, and the general public. In addition, their foreign outreach provides education on the U.S. privacy framework to other countries, international travelers, and international forums.

What Do They Do? Edit

The Privacy Office works with every component and program in the Department to ensure that privacy considerations are addressed when planning or updating any program, system or initiative. They strive to ensure that technologies used at the Department sustain, and do not erode, privacy protections. They also implement the Department’s Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) governing the use of personally identifiable information (PII) through a comprehensive compliance process.

The Privacy Office also:

  • Evaluates Department legislative and regulatory proposals involving the collection, use, and disclosure of PII;
  • Centralizes FOIA and Privacy Act operations to provide policy and programmatic oversight and support implementation across the Department;
  • Operates a Department-wide Privacy Incident Response Program to ensure that incidents involving PII are properly reported, investigated and mitigated, as appropriate;
  • Responds to complaints of privacy violations and provides redress, as appropriate; and
  • Provides training, education and outreach to build a culture of privacy across the Department and transparency to the public.

How You Can Work With Privacy Edit

Department employees and contractors

  • Partner with the Privacy Office when planning or updating any program, system, or initiative to ensure compliance with federal privacy laws;
  • Know when to prepare privacy compliance documents, including Privacy Threshold Analyses, Privacy Impact Assessments, and System of Records Notices;
  • Educate yourself through the office's training programs on the proper handling of PII and when and how to report a privacy incident; and
  • Respond promptly to all FOIA requests.

Privacy community & the public

  • Contact them so they can respond to your privacy concerns or questions; and
  • Participate in their workshops and educational opportunities.

International partners

  • Learn about the U.S. privacy framework;
  • Partner with them to create privacy-protective international information sharing agreements; and
  • Help identify practical implementation mechanisms for established privacy best practices, such as the internationally recognized Fair Information Practice Principles.

Resources Edit

Visit their website, The Privacy Office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and read their Annual Report to learn more. Their contact information can also be found on their site.

See alsoEdit

References Edit

The Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office (DHS Privacy Office or Office) is the first statutorily created privacy office in any federal agency, as set forth in 6 U.S.C. § 142, § 222 of the Homeland Security Act, as amended.

External links Edit

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