The Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office is the first statutorily-required privacy office in any federal agency, responsible for evaluating Department programs, systems, and initiatives for potential privacy impacts, and providing mitigation strategies to reduce the privacy impact.
The mission of the Privacy Office is to protect all individuals by embedding and enforcing privacy protections and transparency in all DHS activities. We work with every component and program to ensure that privacy considerations are addressed when planning or updating any program, system or initiative. We strive to ensure that technologies used at the Department sustain, and do not erode, privacy protections. We use the DHS Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) as our policy framework to enhance privacy protections by assessing the nature and purpose for all personally identifiable information (PII) collected to fulfill the Department's mission. The FIPPs are shown in the chart below:
The Privacy Office:
- Evaluates Department legislative and regulatory proposals involving collection, use, and disclosure of PII
- Centralizes FOIA and Privacy Act operations to provide policy and programmatic oversight, and support implementation across the Department
- Operates a Department-wide Privacy Incident Response Program to ensure that incidents involving PII are properly reported, investigated and mitigated, as appropriate
- Responds to complaints of privacy violations and provides redress, as appropriate
- Provides training, education and outreach to build a culture of privacy across the Department and transparency to the public.
Leadership and Organization
Karen Neuman became the DHS Chief Privacy and FOIA Officer in October 2013.
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Attn: Privacy Office