White House works on data management privacy principles

As the White House unveils online government services, the nation's e-government chief said Monday that the Bush administration is working hard to balance concerns over privacy with the need for streamlined information-sharing practices.

These challenges are particularly difficult for government, Mark Forman, associate director of information technology and e-government for the White House Office of Management and Budget told the National Academy of Public Administration's privacy conference.

To meet President Bush's mandate for more effective management of federal agencies, OMB is spearheading efforts to translate some agency duties to the Internet, providing greater and more efficient access to citizens, businesses, and state and local governments.

The key to e-government rests on the ability for agencies "to get rid of redundant copies of the data" so that citizens can go to a one-stop shop to accomplish a range of tasks, Forman said. But that streamlined vision of agency access to data requires principles to ensure that personal information is not compromised and that businesses and individuals can trust the system, he added.

Forman said that in cases concerning homeland security, agencies must be able to share information in back-end operations to assess threats, for example, and that necessity may pose privacy tradeoffs.

To establish a proper balance between privacy and online service, OMB is working to establish principles for data management. The e-government initiative must make sure that the data collected is being used for its stated purpose. Means of data collection must be secure, while access to that information is maintained on a "need-to-know basis," Forman said.

And to meet those goals, OMB will continue issuing privacy management guidelines, including the requirement that all agencies submit privacy assessments of the technologies they propose to acquire. OMB also will continue to prohibit tracking technologies and will require agencies to post viable privacy policies to the Web and to appoint senior privacy officials.

Forman also cited OMB's progress on an e-authentication system, which will be the key enabler of online services. The system will ensure privacy protection by providing a "gateway" where citizens, businesses and other government agencies can obtain the proper security clearance to engage in online transactions with the federal government, he said.

"We're very committed to promoting privacy interests," Forman said. "But in the back office, integrating lines of business, you have to be able to correlate information."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis β€” Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.