The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy last week announced the federal research agency responsible for maintaining the technological superiority of the U.S. military has released a set of Privacy Principle to address the issue of balancing access to information with the need to respect personal privacy.
Expanding on those principles, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency resolves to consistently examine the impact of its research and development programs on privacy. It will also commit to analyze the privacy dimension of its ongoing research endeavors with respect to their ethical, legal and societal implications.
In addition, DARPA has outlined a number of specific steps already taken in research, internal controls and independent review. Among them are engaging the National Academy of Sciences in a study of the ethical and societal implications of technological advances, and creating an internal privacy ombudsman and an independent Privacy Review Panel. DARPA will also work the National Science Foundation to analyze the ethical, legal and societal implications of R&D involving personally identifiable information.
“It is critical that we maintain our privacy and civil liberties in the digital age, and I am delighted to see DARPA’s leadership take this issue so seriously,” Tom Kalil, deputy director for policy at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote in a Aug. 9 post on the OSTP Blog.