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Federal Privacy Council Holds Inaugural Meeting

This week, privacy leaders from across the Federal Government convened for the inaugural meeting of the Federal Privacy Council.
“We take our privacy seriously...And we’ve also established the first Privacy Council to strengthen protections of people’s personal information and privacy rights across the federal government.”
 Remarks by President Obama at the Signing of the Judicial Redress Act Bill, February 24, 2016

On Wednesday, the Administration took an important step to enhance privacy efforts across the Federal Government by convening privacy leaders from Federal agencies for the inaugural meeting of the Federal Privacy Council. Established by President Obama through an Executive Order, the Council is charged with coordinating and collaborating across Government by sharing ideas and best practices, educating the Federal workforce, and developing new approaches for protecting privacy in today’s technology-driven environment.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan opened the Council’s first meeting, emphasizing the need to build upon existing interagency efforts to protect privacy and provide expertise and assistance to agencies in developing and implementing comprehensive privacy programs across Government.

In addition, the Council:

  • Explored best practices to shift the focus of privacy programs to a more comprehensive, continuous and risk-based approach;
  • Took steps to ensure strong leadership of agency privacy programs, improve the process for recruiting and hiring top privacy talent, and continue development opportunities for agency privacy professionals; and
  • Discussed the Government’s privacy practices in the context of ever-changing technologies.

Moving forward, the Council will build upon the Administration’s actions to protect the privacy of individuals and to continue to ensure the implementation of efficient and effective privacy programs.

Marc Groman is the Senior Advisor for Privacy at the Office of Management and Budget and Chair of the Federal Privacy Council.