Privacy

OMB director announces new digital privacy office

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The White House has established a new digital privacy office -- and an accompanying senior career position -- to oversee agency privacy and data collection programs and develop interagency privacy policies.

The new office and leader will build on and collaborate with the Federal Privacy Council created in March and will be located in the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB Director Shaun Donovan said in a blog post.

"If we don't invest in privacy today, the issues will only be more challenging tomorrow," he wrote. "The new office and career official will be dedicated to strengthening the government's privacy practices and continuing to make privacy a more comprehensive, strategic and continuous function of government."

The goal is to augment citizens' privacy and protect their information by evaluating and strengthening the government's privacy practices. The new resources are intended to bolster OIRA's privacy stature, staff resources, and role in statistical and information policy.

Specifically, the new office and its leader will develop federal privacy policies that take advantage of emerging technologies, identify and address governmentwide trends relating to privacy, and assess agencies' privacy regulations and initiatives. The new official will collaborate with OMB Senior Adviser for Privacy Marc Groman.

"While the role and responsibilities of the new office may evolve to keep pace with ever-changing technologies and advancements in information analytics, the new office and the career position created to lead it are here to stay not just in the months ahead, but for years to come," Donovan wrote.

The announcement complements OMB's July instructions for agencies to develop a plan for continuous, risk-based privacy monitoring and IT security, and its September guidance for agency privacy officials.

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

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