The Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office has released its privacy report [pdf] for the period July 2008 – June 2009.
As summarized in the report, the DHS Privacy Office:
is the first statutorily mandated privacy office in the federal government. Its mission is to minimize the impact on an individual’s privacy, particularly an individual’s personal information and dignity, while achieving the Department’s mandate. The Chief Privacy Officer reports directly to the Secretary of the Department, and the Office’s mission and authority are founded upon the responsibilities set forth in section 222 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended.
During Fiscal Year 2009, the office added new positions:
- Director, Privacy Incidents and Inquiries
- Associate Director, Policy and Education
- Associate Director, Privacy Technology and Intelligence
- FOIA Specialist (3)
- Privacy Compliance Specialist (1)
In addition, the Office commenced the hiring process for a Senior Privacy Analyst, Associate Director of Communications, Associate Director of Privacy Compliance, Senior Attorney Advisor, and two Privacy Analysts during this reporting period. All hiring should be completed by the end of FY 2009.
As part of its public education program, and throughout the reporting period:
the Chief Privacy Officer engaged in information exchanges with the privacy advocacy community to ensure they are well informed about DHS programs and projects that may pose particular privacy concerns. Upon her appointment, the Chief Privacy Officer began a series of introductory outreach meetings with advocacy groups to begin a relationship of open dialogue and to demonstrate that she is interested in hearing their concerns. In addition, the Chief Privacy Officer has begun holding quarterly open meetings with the privacy advocacy community. These meetings, called Privacy Information for Advocates meetings, are intended to brief the advocacy community on the work of the DHS Privacy Office and provide a forum for the privacy advocacy community to express feedback or concerns to the Chief Privacy Officer and the Department. The first meeting was held in June 2009, with future meetings scheduled in September and December 2009, and March 2010. Other outreach efforts included briefings on programs such as TSA’s Whole Body Imaging Program, NPPD’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), and the REAL ID Program.
To supplement these face-to-face meetings, the DHS Privacy Office makes efforts to alert the privacy advocacy community by email when new reports or privacy documents of major importance are released. In addition, the Office periodically disseminates a newsletter, Privacy Matters, designed to highlight Office activities. The DHS Privacy Office views the privacy advocacy community as an important resource for policy development and invites them to bring their concerns and expertise to the attention of the Office.
The whole report is available here (99 pages, 3.12 MB)