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DHS Privacy Office Issues Annual Report Summarizing Its Accomplishments

Posted by Chief Privacy Officer Karen Neuman

Over the past nine years, the Privacy Office has worked to create an environment at DHS where neither privacy nor security are compromised, but rather merged in a manner that keeps the country safe and honors the principles on which the country was founded. As a result, privacy is now firmly embedded into the lifecycle of DHS pro­grams and systems to inform Departmental policy, and to ensure effective privacy protections. 

Today, I am pleased to provide an update from the Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office’s 2013 Annual Report to Congress, on our achievements between July 2012 and June 2013, during which time my deputy, Jonathan R. Cantor, served as the Acting Chief Privacy Officer.  

The Privacy Office’s mission is to protect all individuals by embedding and enforcing privacy protections and transparency in all DHS activities.  Our ongoing efforts to incorporate strong privacy protection and transparency into initiatives and programs across the Department included providing expertise and advice in support of DHS’ ongoing work in law enforcement and intelligence sharing, ensuring that privacy considerations are part of how we accomplish these important missions.  In addition, the Department successfully reduced its Freedom of Information Act backlog by 33 percent this year despite another record-breaking year in the volume of requests received.  

As the Privacy Office enters our tenth year, we will continue to ensure that DHS stays committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals, and providing the greatest level of transparency and accountability possible.

For more information on the Privacy Office, please visit our webpage.

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