Friday, July 28, 2006

Homeland Security Names New Privacy Officer

The Department of Homeland Security has named one of their lawyers, Hugo Teufel III, as their new Chief Privacy Officer.

Hugo Teufel was associate general counsel at the Homeland Security Department, and also worked at the Department of the Interior.

Michael Chertoff Teufel was "highly regarded throughout the department and the legal community for his expertise on privacy, employee relations and civil rights issues."

In an interview with Government Executive magazine, Teufel said, "It's important to have someone in this position that can go to the deputy secretary or the secretary and say, 'That's probably not a good idea,'. "If I thought something
were amiss, I would advise the deputy secretary and the secretary. And I would not hesitate to do so."

He also said, "I am looking forward to making use of my experience at the department in order to make the office more effective and get the office more plugged in earlier with the various programs that our offices are involved in that impact privacy."

Teufel is replacing the CPO Maureen Cooney, who will leave in September to take a position as a senior policy adviser for global privacy strategies at Hunton & Williams.

Before her, Nuala O'Connor Kelly, was the first CPO for DHS. She now works at General Electric.

Privacy adovcates wanted someone with more experience in privacy than Teufel, who prior to Interior worked for Gale Norton in Colorado, and would prefer someone they know is a forecful advocate for privacy.

"This is not an appropriate appointment. He lacks the relevant experience," said, said Marc Rotenberg, head of EPIC.

"He doesn't have much of a background to be a privacy officer. He seems to have no experience in privacy matters," said Caroline Fredrickson, with the ACLU in Washington.


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