Privacy

GSA IT gets privacy impact assessment policy

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General Services Administration CIO Sonny Hashmi issued policy guidelines for assessing the impact of his agency's IT systems on its employees' privacy.

Hashmi, who is also the senior agency official for privacy in the GSA IT Office, said in a policy and procedure statement that IT program managers and system owners were responsible for ensuring that the systems under their jurisdiction undergo a privacy impact assessment.

PIA job responsibilities, said the directive, include identifying IT systems; coordinating with system managers, system developers, and others who may have a concern about resolving privacy and security issues; and reviewing and approving the PIA before passing it up the management chain.

The policy applies to GSA services, staff offices in the central office and all GSA regions, including IT systems under each jurisdiction, and GSA employees whose duties involve the management, acquisition, maintenance, and use of IT systems. It also applies to contractors, subcontractors, and anyone specified in memoranda of understanding or other agreement vehicles, as well as individual corporations and other organizations that process or handle GSA-owned information.

The PIA directive establishes policy and procedures for addressing privacy issues not only in GSA's IT systems, but its online Web sites, and social media venues that contain personal information about individuals. The directive said it establishes the PIA as the required tool for conducting privacy evaluations at the agency and defines privacy issues to be addressed, steps for completing a PIA report, and provides the PIA report format.

"GSA has instituted the PIA as the means for ensuring that GSA's information systems, online Web sites, and social media venues protect the privacy of individuals," the directive stated.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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