TR – Transparency

Effective notice, by virtue of its clarity, readability, and comprehensiveness, enables individuals to understand how an organization uses PII generally and, where appropriate, to make an informed decision prior to providing PII to an organization. Effective notice also demonstrates the privacy considerations that the organization has addressed in implementing its information practices. The organization may provide general public notice through a variety of means, as required by law or policy, including System of Records Notices (SORNs), Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs), or in a website privacy policy. As required by the Privacy Act, the organization also provides direct notice to individuals via Privacy Act Statements on the paper and electronic forms it uses to collect PII, or on separate forms that can be retained by the individuals. The organization Senior Agency Official for Privacy (SAOP)/Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) is responsible for the content of the organization’s public notices, in consultation with legal counsel and relevant program managers. The public notice requirement in this control is satisfied by an organization’s compliance with the public notice provisions of the Privacy Act, the E-Government Act’s PIA requirement, with OMB guidance related to federal agency privacy notices, and, where applicable, with policy pertaining to participation in the Information Sharing Environment (ISE).124 Changing PII practice or policy without prior notice is disfavored and should only be undertaken in consultation with the SAOP/CPO and counsel.