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DHS Privacy Office Issues Report Summarizing Its Accomplishments

Posted by Mary Ellen Callahan, Chief Privacy and Freedom of Information Act Officer

The Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office is proud to present its seventh Annual Report, summarizing its achievements during the period from July 2010 through June 2011.

As I move into my third year as the DHS Chief Privacy Officer, I’m pleased with the improvements my office has made in strengthening privacy protections across the Department’s operations while simultaneously fulfilling the Administration’s goals of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. We strive diligently to create an environment where privacy and security are not traded or balanced, but integrated in a manner that keeps this country safe and honors the principles on which the country was founded.

In support of the Administration’s efforts to promote openness, transparency, and public participation we have instituted our Proactive Disclosure Policy. This policy means that certain categories of documents are now published on the headquarters and component websites, eliminating the need for the public to file Freedom of Information Act requests for those documents.

In addition, we actively lead privacy policy development across the federal government through leadership positions in all of the federal privacy organizations. When issues arise that affect the federal government as an enterprise, the DHS Privacy Office serves as a voice for privacy protections. This year, we have tackled privacy issues related to the use of cloud computing technology, social media, identity management, and other developing areas with privacy implications.

The scope of DHS’s mission also demands that the DHS Privacy Office take a leading role in the international privacy dialogue. In the past year, we conducted significant outreach efforts with our international partners to enhance their understanding of the U.S. privacy framework and DHS privacy policy and procedures.

I look forward to continuing to lead the effort to enhance privacy protections and promote government transparency and accountability not only in the Department but also in the federal government and international community, and foresee an even more productive future.

Read the DHS Privacy Office 2011 Annual Report and visit the DHS Privacy Office website.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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