DHS loses top privacy official

The top privacy official at the Homeland Security Department is leaving her post to join a law firm.

Maureen Cooney, acting chief privacy officer at DHS, will join Hunton & Williams in September, according to an announcement she issued. She will serve as counsel to the law firm and senior policy adviser for global privacy strategies at the firm’s Center for Information Policy Leadership.

“Privacy professionals such as Maureen understand the importance of developing best practices for our profession,” said Marty Abrams, the center’s senior policy adviser and executive director.

Cooney was appointed DHS’ chief privacy officer in September 2005. Congress created the position in 2002 to monitor government programs and the effects new technologies might have on privacy.

Before working at DHS, Cooney served at the Treasury Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

“Her extensive experience at the FTC and Treasury Department brings an invaluable combination of skills and knowledge sought by our clients, particularly those facing FTC investigations of security breaches and privacy issues,” said Lisa Sotto, head of Hunton & Williams’ privacy and information management practice.

Sotto is vice chairwoman of DHS’ Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.

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