Bill would require more privacy officers

A bill under consideration in the House of Representatives, H.R. 5170, would require a privacy officer in each of the Homeland Security Department's components. The legislation seeks to strengthen DHS's privacy protection efforts.


The Homeland Security Committtee approved the bill in late June and sent it to the full House.


DHS has nine components, and four have full-time privacy officers, according to the bill co-sponsored by Reps. Christopher Carney (D-Pa.) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).


Although the department's chief privacy officer works closely with appropriate offices in DHS, the divisions of DHS that have full-time privacy officers generate more Privacy Impact Assessments, according to the text of the bill. Of the 11 components that have generated any PIAs, the three that have designated privacy officers account for 57 percent of the total.


"The presence of a full-time Component Privacy Officer would ensure that privacy considerations are integrated into the decision-making process at all of the DHS Components," the measure's authors wrote.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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