NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Does The Federal Government Need An Information Privacy Czar?

August 21, 2000

With consumers increasingly worried about how companies use their personal information to track them on the Internet, many large corporations are hiring privacy officers with broad authority to protect such data.

Now, some members of Congress are saying that the federal government needs such an officer to coordinate information protection among federal agencies.

  • Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) has submitted a bill that would create a federal Office of Information Policy to be run by a chief information officer appointed by the president.
  • The officer would work with the director of Rep. Davis' proposed Office of Information Security and Technical Protection.
  • That office would coordinate federal agencies' information-technology efforts.
  • The House Government Reform Committee has already approved a bill submitted by Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) to create a Privacy Protection Commission to study electronic privacy issues and recommend congressional action.

Supporters of the Davis bill argue that a centralized leader would be able to make information security one of the top priorities of the federal government.

Source: Associated Press, "Some in Congress Say U.S. Government Could Use an Information-Privacy Czar," Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2000.


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