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The Privacy Office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

About the Privacy Office: The Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office is the first statutorily required Privacy Office at any federal agency whose mission is to minimize the impact on the individual’s privacy, particularly the individual’s personal information and dignity, while achieving the mission of the Department of Homeland Security.  It operates under the direction of Hugo Teufel III, Chief Privacy Officer and Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer, who was appointed by the Secretary on July 21, 2006. The Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office serves as the steward of Section 222 of the Homeland Security Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, the Freedom of Information Act, the E-Government Act of 2002 and the numerous laws, Executive Orders, court decisions and Department policies that protect the collection, use, and disclosure of personal and Departmental information.

Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee: The Department of Homeland Security  Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee will advise the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Homeland Security Chief Privacy Officer on programmatic, policy, operational, administrative, and technological issues within the Department that affect individual privacy, as well as data integrity and data interoperability and other privacy related issues.

Privacy Workshops: The Privacy Office holds public workshops to explore the policy, legal, and technology issues surrounding the intersection of privacy and homeland security.  The programs include a broad range of experts and perspectives, including representatives from academia, business leaders, privacy advocates, legal experts, technologists, and policy leaders.  In addition to the panel discussions during the workshops, the audience may direct questions to each panel.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Privacy Act and Electronic Reading Room: The work of the Privacy Office includes not only the statutory privacy work required under U.S. law, but also integrates Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) implementation oversight for the Department. This additional responsibility for FOIA compliance was delegated to the Privacy Office in recognition of the close connection between privacy and disclosure laws. Privacy Act and FOIA specialists across the Department now work on Privacy Act and FOIA compliance matters under policy guidance from the Chief Privacy Officer.

Privacy Compliance Documentation: The availability of information, from personal information to public information, is made all the easier today due to technological changes in computers, digitized networks, internet access, and the creation of new information products. The E-Government Act of 2002 recognized that these advances also have important ramifications for the protection of personal information contained in government records and systems. The Act mandates an assessment of the privacy impact of any substantially revised or new Information Technology System. The document that results from these mandated assessments is called a Privacy Impact Assessment, or “PIA.”  

International Activities: The Privacy Office works both internationally and within the Department to influence positively the international dialogues concerning privacy and security protection in the homeland security context.

Privacy Policy Guidance and Reports: View Privacy Office Privacy Policy Guidance Memoranda, Annual Reports, FOIA Annual Reports, Datamining Reports, Other Reports and Department of Homeland Security Component Privacy Statements.


The Privacy Office
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

Email: privacy@dhs.gov  
Phone: 703-235-0780
Fax: 703.235-0442

This page was last reviewed/modified on October 10, 2008.