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Privacy is Embedded in Our Mission

DHS Builds Privacy Protections into Operations, Policies and Technology from the Outset
Posted by Mary Ellen Callahan, DHS Chief Privacy Officer

This is part of a series of blog posts exploring the progress we’ve made in implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations. Read previous posts.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is committed to implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations regarding the protection of privacy and civil liberties and we ensure robust privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties safeguards are in place through the work we do every day.

The 9/11 Commission Recommendations progress report recently released by DHS highlights some of the steps we have taken to ensure privacy.

DHS has the first statutorily required privacy office of any federal agency, and the Department builds privacy and civil rights and civil liberties protections into its operations, policies, programs, and technology deployments from the outset of their development. The DHS Privacy Office partners with every DHS component to assess policies, programs, systems, technologies, and rule-makings for privacy risks, and recommends privacy protections and methods for handling personally identifiable information. At DHS we work hard to create an environment where privacy and security go hand in hand, helping to secure our nation while honoring the principles on which the country was founded.

My goal has always been to “operationalize” privacy throughout the department. Through training, guidance, and oversight, we are helping employees better understand and identify privacy risks, mitigate those risks, and take steps to safeguard personal information.

Today we are also looking to the future. We are striving to balance our use of technology, such as social media, cloud computing, identity management, and personal location devices with the need to protect privacy.

Learn more about the 9/11 Commission Progress Report and the DHS Privacy Office .
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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