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Homeland Security

Privacy Impact Assessments

Inventory of Privacy Impact Assessments

What is a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)?

A decision tool used by DHS to identify and mitigate privacy risks that notifies the public:

  • What Personally Identifiable Information (PII) DHS is collecting;
  • Why the PII is being collected; and
  • How the PII will be collected, used, accessed, shared, safeguarded and stored.

A PIA should accomplish three goals:

  1. Ensure conformance with applicable legal, regulatory, and policy requirements for privacy;
  2. Determine the risks and effects; and
  3. Evaluate protections and alternative processes to mitigate potential privacy risks.

DHS conducts a PIA when:

  • Developing or procuring any new technologies or systems that handle or collect PII.
  • Creating a new program, system, technology, or information collection that may have privacy implications.
  • Updating a system that results in new privacy risks.
  • Issuing a new or updated rulemaking that entails the collection of PII.

Read our official guidance on the drafting of Privacy Impact Assessments, including document templates.


Last Published Date: April 21, 2015

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