Authorization bill adds DOJ privacy officer

The House Judiciary Committee has cleared a version of HR 3402, the Justice Department authorization bill for fiscal 2006, that for the first time includes provisions for a privacy officer under the attorney general and for improved federal data-sharing with state and local law-enforcement agencies.

The bill calls for the attorney general to designate a privacy official, who would not require confirmation by the Senate. The privacy officer would be responsible, among other tasks, for assuring that the use of technologies sustains 'privacy protections relating to the use, collection and disclosure of personally identifiable information,' according to the draft bill.

Section 206 of the draft legislation would order the FBI director to upgrade the 'accuracy, quality, timeliness, immediate accessibility and integration of state criminal history and related records.' It would also direct Justice to 'facilitate state participation in national records and information systems.'

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