The Office of Management and Budget debuted new guidance on Sept. 15, clarifying new privacy responsibilities for federal agency officers.

As the use of digital systems becomes ubiquitous, more and more of people's personal information can be accessed anywhere, anytime. OMB unveiled the updated guidance for Senior Agency Officials for Privacy to gauge risk management and ensure agencies have the tools they need to protect the data they hold.

"Last issued over a decade ago, the revised guidance updates the role and responsibilities of SAOPs in light of recent innovations in technology and advancements in information analytics so that agencies are better positioned to address the new and complex challenges of the information age," OMB Senior Advisor for Privacy Marc Groman said in a Sept. 15 blog.

Specifically, the guidance requires those agencies:

Assess the management, structure and operation of the agency’s privacy program and, if necessary, designate or re-designate an official to serve as the SAOP.

Clarifies the SAOP’s role in central leadership, providing necessary authority and expertise to lead the agency’s privacy program and carry out all privacy-related functions.

Requires SAOPs to have a central role in crafting policy development and evaluation, privacy compliance and privacy risk management.

OMB officials said that the new guidance fits in line with privacy goals outlined in

, a February 2016 order that established the Federal Privacy Council to assess privacy support and clarify the role of agency SAOPs.

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