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.
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.
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 cybersecurity-related 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.