TSA names privacy director

The Transportation Security Administration today announced that Peter Pietra has been named the agency's director of privacy policy and compliance. He now is TSA's assistant chief counsel for information law.

The Homeland Security Department agency said in a press release that Pietra's appointment, along with expanded staffing of TSA's privacy office, showed its commitment to privacy protection.

"Peter's appointment extends the privacy functions he currently serves and is expected to build a strong privacy program within the agency," said Kip Hawley, TSA administrator. "That knowledge, along with the close working relationship he has established with the DHS Privacy Office, makes him well suited for this new post."

TSA said the pending launch of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, Registered Traveler and Secure Flight programs highlight the increased workload and need for improved public communication about privacy policies. All three programs involve the use of personal information to conduct background checks needed to approve transportation workers and travelers for speedy transit of checkpoints or access to sensitive facilities.

Pietra earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and was a field artillery officer in the Army. He graduated from Temple University's law school. He practiced law in the private sector and as an attorney for the Coast Guard before joining TSA's Chief Counsel Office in 2003.

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