OMB establishes new privacy office, senior privacy position


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The Office of Management and Budget has created a new privacy office and a dedicated senior career position for privacy within its Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB Director Shaun Donovan announced Wednesday.

“We’ve been taking a hard look at the federal government’s privacy practices, and are leading a groundbreaking effort to enhance how federal agencies protect the privacy of individuals and their information,” Donovan wrote in a blog post.

The announcement comes after the administration recently put a greater focus on privacy, establishing a Federal Privacy Council and issuing “a new approach for agencies to develop and maintain a continuous and risk-based privacy monitoring strategy.”

[Read more: OMB will set up Federal Privacy Council]

The new office and position will collaborate with that council and with other privacy leaders in government “to identify government-wide trends and issues related to privacy that require government-wide solutions,” Donovan said.

They will also be expected to take the lead to develop federal privacy policies and strategy, and “oversee and evaluate agency regulatory initiatives, privacy policies, information collection and related policies and other policy initiatives that impact the privacy of information about people.”

The announcement follows a White House guidance released last month calling on agencies to reaffirm or appoint senior agency officials for privacy who have authority to carry out the agency’s privacy program.

[Read more: White House calls for updated senior agency privacy positions]

Donovan noted that the longer the government waits to invest in privacy, the harder the challenge becomes. 

“While the role and responsibilities of the new office may evolve to keep pace with ever-changing technologies and advancements in information analytics, the new office – and the career position created to lead it – are here to stay not just in the months ahead, but for years to come,” Donovan said in his post. 

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Agencies, Cybersecurity, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), privacy, Tech