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A February to Love – Obama’s Federal Privacy Council

February 24, 2016

 

Just how do you restore public trust and uphold the highest standards for collecting, maintaining, and using personal data as more personally identifiable information (PII) are being handled by federal agencies? Especially, in the aftermath of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden divulging more than a mouthful of NSA surveillance activities. What is the solution?

 

President Barack Obama has combated this challenge with a mission to win back the “heart” of democracy stating that privacy protection with regards to the handling of personal information “is fundamental to the successful accomplishment of the Government’s mission.” On February 9th, President Obama indisputably signed an executive order to establish the Federal Privacy Council, an interagency group created to design the ideal structure for federal privacy programs. The new executive order is a component of the president’s $19 billion Cybersecurity National Action Plan.

 

Here are seven facts you should know about the expected efforts and some of the council’s responsibilities.
1. The council will include chief privacy officers from across 24 government agencies. Will coordinate with the CIO Council and all major federal agencies.
2. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is charged with oversight of the 24-member council.
3. OMB Senior Adviser for Privacy will head the council chaired by OMB Deputy Director for Management.
4. The OMB director will issue a revised policy on the role and appointment of “senior agency officials for privacy” within 120 days from February 9th. The order mandates the head of each agency either designate or re-designate a new privacy official.
5. The council will share best practices to leverage the accomplishments of member agencies and develop new privacy training for employees across the federal enterprise. The order seeks to improve hiring, training, and retention of privacy professionals across the federal government to efficiently manage federal privacy programs.
6. The council will improve training for privacy-focused officials and streamline efforts across agencies.
7. The council will improve policies, governance, best practices, and strategies that align with technology and evolving threats.

 

Sounds like it should benefit all levels of government. That’s exactly the sentiment aired by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), “President Obama Embraces the Privacy Profession.” This is practically for everyone. Every organization needs appropriate privacy competency to consult, build, maintain, and to enhance a privacy program. And, every privacy team needs strong top-management support in order to thrive and to maintain a robust privacy program. In other words, it will start with training and will end with more training. The results from the Federal Privacy Council’s efforts will set precedence for what we should expect in the future privacy programs of state and local governments and eventually the private sector.

Now, you know what’s coming your way. It’s fast approaching. The new executive order is expected to gain solid leverage through training, benchmarking efficiency, and strategizing.  THE PRIVACY ADVOCATE has the capabilities and the edge to leverage these successes  with your organization’s unique environment. Remember, our expertise is innovative and strategic privacy training. We will help you lay the groundwork and provide you the initial structure and support you’ll need to fully harness efforts and positive outcomes made available through the new executive order and its council. Reach out to us now. Let’s discuss your next steps and how to meet your needs today.

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