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DHS Privacy Office Celebrates its First Decade

Posted by Chief Privacy Officer Karen Neuman

Deputy Secretary Mayorkas delivers remarks during an event commemorating the tenth anniversary of the DHS Privacy Office. Official DHS photo.

Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security commemorated the tenth anniversary of the DHS Privacy Office by hosting an event held at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Headquarters in Washington.

During the event, DHS leadership, current and former DHS privacy and FOIA staff, former Chief Privacy Officers, representatives from the White House, the DHS Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and stakeholders gathered to recognize the many achievements of the Privacy Office, as well as the important work of their counterparts at the Components. 

Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas delivered congratulatory remarks during the ceremony, recognizing the Privacy Office’s work over the past 10 years to ensure that robust privacy protections are firmly embedded into the lifecycle of Homeland Security programs and systems from the onset. Deputy Secretary Mayorkas also expressed his gratitude for the contributions of the Privacy Office to the Department’s , and underscoring that the nation is stronger because of our hard work. 

In addition to thanking and recognizing past and present DHS privacy and FOIA professionals, I discussed the challenges the office currently faces as it looks forward to its next decade, and our priorities and vision for the future. 

The threats we face are ever-evolving, and technology and how we use it may be part of the solution to countering those threats.  It is crucial for the Department to develop effective uses of information while being mindful of any potential privacy impact; cultivate new relationships while considering how notions of privacy might evolve; and take affirmative measures to protect privacy while explaining those protections to the public – all of which will make privacy and FOIA professionals essential to the missions of DHS.

It is my hope and expectation that in the course of decades to come, the Privacy Office and the Department as a whole will continue to be recognized for these efforts to preserve our values as well as we protect the homeland. 

Learn more about the DHS Privacy Office by visiting www.dhs.gov/privacy.

 

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