Rosenzweig to chair DHS privacy group

Paul Rosenzweig is the first chairman of the Homeland Security Department's privacy committee.

Members of DHS' Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee held the committee’s inaugural meeting today and picked their first leaders. They chose Rosenzweig, a senior legal research fellow at the Heritage Foundation as their chairman. Members also selected Lisa Sotto, partner and leader of the Regulatory Privacy and Information Management Practice Group at Hunton and Williams, a New York law firm, as the committee’s vice chairwoman.

Both were elected unanimously.

The DHS committee was created in February to review new technology that department officials wish to use to ensure that its use would not violate civil liberties.

The group reports to Nuala O'Connor Kelly, DHS' chief privacy officer, and advises DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. Its 20 participants include high-ranking privacy officials from industry, government and academia.

Rosenzweig said he hopes the committee will maximize security and privacy as much as possible and make concessions to one or the other only when necessary.

Sotto said she would not compromise U.S. security. But "our national security must not come at the ultimate cost of the freedoms we cherish so much," she said.

The chief information officers of nine DHS agencies addressed the committee to describe their respective privacy provisions and concerns. Later in the afternoon, half a dozen privacy experts were scheduled to speak before the committee to air their own views about DHS' performance.

The committee meets quarterly and is tentatively scheduled to meet next in Boston in June.

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