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DHS Privacy Office Accomplishes Much in the Past Year

Posted by Acting Chief Privacy Officer Jonathan R. Cantor

On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Privacy Office, I am proud to present its eighth Annual Report to Congress.

The DHS Privacy Office ensures that privacy protections are built into Department systems, programs, and initiatives as they are developed and implemented.  The report summarizes the numerous accomplishments of the DHS Privacy Office from July 2011 through June 2012, under the leadership of my predecessor, former Chief Privacy Officer Mary Ellen Callahan.  It explains how the Privacy Office works to ensure that DHS carries out its homeland security mission in a privacy-protective manner. 

We’ve accomplished a lot in the past year.  Here are a few examples:

  • Co-led the negotiation of a joint Statement of Privacy Principles with Canada in support of the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border Action plan to facilitate the legitimate movement of people, goods, and services across our shared border.  By expediting lawful trade and commerce into and across our shared border, the United States and Canada will enhance our economic competitiveness, create jobs and support economic growth.
  • Developed a Department-wide Privacy Policy for Operational Use of Social Media to ensure that DHS incorporates privacy protections into its use of social media to carry out its authorized mission. 
  • Participated as a key member of the negotiating team for the 2012 U.S. - EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Agreement to provide enhanced privacy protections for travelers.

As our office continues to evolve and innovate, we continue to share our expertise and methodology with our peers to improve privacy protection across the entire federal government.  I am very happy about these accomplishments, and look forward to leading the DHS Privacy Office into another year of continued achievement.  

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

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