Survey says: Privacy needs outreach

Privacy Practices that Work:Eight Federal and Non-Federal Examples

Related Links

A successful privacy program depends on outreach to everyone involved, privacy officials said today.

Cross-agency councils, training programs and ongoing communication are some cornerstones of so-called gold standard privacy programs, according to officials and a survey released today by the Industry Advisory Council E-government Shared Interested Group.

"We reached out to find who we could partner with internally, so we could get the buy-in," said Barbara Symonds, director of the privacy service in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Symonds spoke on a panel this morning discussing the findings of the survey and agency experiences.

The study is based on in-depth interviews with officials at eight federal, private sector and international privacy programs to present the best practices of differing organizations. The report includes case studies on the VA, U.S. Postal Service, Interior Department, Census Bureau, Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security Department, IBM Corp. and the government of Ontario, Canada.

Despite many differences in implementing privacy programs and their stages of maturity, several common themes emerged, the survey shows. Most organizations used privacy councils with diverse representatives from legal, human resources, technology and policy areas. Also, most organizations have a plan for outreach programs to communicate policies and offer training, the survey shows.

For example, VA officials launched an educational campaign that included a Privacy Day, with buttons and banners, to highlight the issues, Symonds said. VA officials also have a Web-based training program that more than 200,000 employees have completed, she said.

The survey found that senior management support was necessary. Although the structure of the eight privacy programs differed, with some housed in the office of the chief information officer and others in operations, officials expressed the need to have privacy programs operating independently.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.