On February 9, President Obama issued two Executive Orders (EO) titled, Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity and Establishment of the Federal Privacy Council. The first EO creates a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity (Commission), which will be comprised of top industry thinkers outside of the government. The President will appoint the Commission’s members, with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, the Majority Leader of the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the Senate each being invited to recommend one individual for membership. As outlined in the White House’s Fact Sheet on the EO, the Commission will, among other things, (i) assist in diagnosing and addressing the causes of cyber-vulnerabilities; (ii) “make detailed recommendations on actions that can be taken over the next decade to enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections throughout the private sector and at all levels of Government”; and (iii) report specific findings and recommendations to the President before the end of 2016.
With the creation of the Federal Privacy Council, senior privacy officials from various Government agencies will come together to (i) develop recommendations on government privacy policies and requirements; (ii) collaborate on ideas, best practices, and approaches for protecting privacy and implementing appropriate safeguards; (iii) evaluate how best to address the hiring, training, and professional development needs of the Federal Government with respect to privacy matters, making the appropriate recommendations; and (iv) perform other privacy-related functions, consistent with law, that the Chair designates. Ultimately, this “interagency support structure” will be the principal “forum to improve the Government privacy practices of agencies and entities acting on their behalf.”