Re­sist the Urge for Good, Ol’ Fash­ioned Eth­nic Jokes at Work­place

The HR Digest - - Content Features -

The sig­nif­i­cance of en­hanc­ing gov­ern­men­tal cy­ber­se­cu­rity has been a heated topic of dis­cus­sion, es­pe­cially with Pres­i­dent Obama be­ing the prom­i­nent sup­porter of the is­sue. Two mas­sive data breaches ac­counted in the last two years at the Of­fice of Per­son­nel Man­age­ment has added more fuel to the fire.

On this note, an Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der has been is­sued by the Amer­i­can Pres­i­dent to es­tab­lish a ‘Fed­eral Pri­vacy Coun­cil’, which is charged with en­sur­ing that fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s en­tire agen­cies strive to sus­tain the best stan­dards for re­ceiv­ing, han­dling, and uti­liz­ing per­sonal data.

The new coun­cil is ba­si­cally a sup­port struc­ture for in­ter­a­gency, which will of­fer as­sis­tance and ex­per­tise, en­hance the cur­rent agency’s pri­vacy pro­grams man­age­ment, pro­mote col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween pri­vacy pro­fes­sion­als of the agency, and en­sure pri­vacy pol­icy’s ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion. At present, only a few fed­eral agen­cies have com­mis­sioned pri­vacy of­fi­cers and the po­si­tions and roles of these pri­vacy of­fi­cers are dif­fer­ent for every agency.

The Fed­eral Pri­vacy Coun­cil is a cru­cial part of the Cy­ber­se­cu­rity Na­tional Action Plan, an ini­tia­tive led by Pres­i­dent Obama that also in­cludes funds to im­prove and mod­ern­ize the IT in­fra­struc­ture of fed­eral gov­ern­ment and needs a Com­mis­sion on im­prov­ing Na­tional Cy­ber­se­cu­rity to bring pri­vate sec­tor lead­ers and law­mak­ers to­gether in or­der to make rec­om­men­da­tions con­cern­ing gov­ern­ment cy­ber­se­cu­rity.

There are var­i­ous ques­tions that arise con­cern­ing the pres­i­dent’s cy­ber­se­cu­rity agenda and the Pri­vacy coun­cil. The first among these is whether the coun­cil pro­pos­als will amass co­op­er­a­tion and sup­port of Congress. In the an­nual bud­get pro­posal for the pur­pose of cy­ber­se­cu­rity, Pres­i­dent Obama has granted $19 bil­lion, but Repub­li­can law­mak­ers seem hos­tile to­ward var­i­ous other ar­eas of this bud­get pro­posal.

The sec­ond ques­tion points out the fact whether the cy­ber­se­cu­ri­tyre­lated ini­tia­tives and Pri­vacy Coun­cil are struc­tured and staffed to strive for suc­cess. These con­cerns are mainly be­cause the pro­cesses for en­force­ment re­main un­spec­i­fied and the Pri­vacy Coun­cil Chair along with the po­si­tions of the se­nior pri­vacy of­fi­cials of the agency has not been ap­pointed so far.

Given the other chal­lenges along with lim­ited pe­riod left in the pres­i­dency of Obama, it seems un­likely that this coun­cil will make some sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in the near term. This coun­cil for pri­vacy is de­signed to re­in­force the work, which present pri­vacy of­fi­cials of the agency will un­der­take. It is also in­tended to co­or­di­nate with the ex­change of best prac­tices and in­for­ma­tion. The pri­vacy coun­cil will also be in charge of pri­vacy pro­fes­sion­als’ de­vel­op­ment.

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