The United States Department of Agriculture Privacy Office is located within the Office of the Chief Information Officer. The mission of the USDA Privacy Office is to preserve and enhance privacy protections for all individuals, to promote transparency of USDA operations, and to serve as a leader in the federal privacy community. The Office accomplishes its mission by focusing on two key activities: (1) requiring compliance with the letter and spirit of federal laws promoting privacy and to provide policy and programmatic oversight and support operational implementation within the components; (2) providing education and outreach to build a culture of privacy and adherence to Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) across the Department.
The USDA Privacy Office operates under the direction of the Chief Information Officer and the Chief Privacy Officer. The USDA Privacy Office works within the parameters of the Privacy Act of 1974, the e-Government Act of 2002 and the numerous laws, Executive Orders, Department policies that protect the use, and disclosure of personal and Departmental information.
Privacy Compliance Documentation
The availability of information, from personal information to public information, is made all the easier 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."
The FOIA is found in Title 5 of the United States Code, Section 552. FOIA was enacted in 1966 and gives any person the right to request access to almost any federal agency record, except those protected from disclosure by legal exemptions and exclusions (e.g., classified national security, business proprietary, personal privacy, and investigative documents.)