Guidance Issued on Federal Agency "Privacy Impact Assessments"
To implement the landmark E-Government Act of 2002, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued the most significant privacy guidance to federal agencies since the Privacy Act went into effect in 1975. A memorandum issued by OMB on September 26 provides detailed instructions to agencies in preparing "privacy impact assessments" (PIAs) now required to be performed whenever government agencies initiate new or expanded collections of personal information. Beyond describing how agencies should conduct PIAs, the guidelines address agency Web site privacy notices. They require agencies to have plans for providing "machine readable notices" on their Web sites using standards such as the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P). Also now each agency is required to have a designated point person on privacy issues.