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Robert C. Cresanti Appointed Chief Privacy Officer for the U.S. Department of Commerce

New York, Jul 17, 2006

U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez has appointed Robert C. Cresanti, under secretary of commerce for technology, to the seat of chief privacy officer. Announced last Thursday, the appointment makes Cresanti the highest-ranking official responsible for privacy policies and practices within the federal government.

In conjunction with his current role leading the department’s Technology Administration, Cresanti will be responsible for overseeing all DoC activities relating to federal privacy laws, policies and practices. In addition, he will be involved in administering and ensuring the integrity of internal DoC security measures, including the department’s information systems.

“Information privacy and security is of primary importance to us here at Commerce, and we are fortunate to have Robert Cresanti's expertise to call upon,” said Secretary Gutierrez.

Cresanti brings to the position extensive experience in privacy issues relating to information technology, banking and financial transactions, and identity theft. Prior to his confirmation as under secretary in March 2006, Cresanti held top-ranking positions at the Business Software Alliance and the Information Technology Association of America. Earlier in his career, he served as staff director for the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem and for the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and Technology. Cresanti has been recognized for helping to shape key privacy and security legislation, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the CAN-SPAM Act, and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.

As under secretary for technology, Cresanti provides oversight to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Technical Information Service, and works to carry forward President Bush's goal to bolster technological innovation and the U.S. economy through the American Competitiveness Initiative [See related article: State of the Union Address Highlights Need for Increased Funding in Areas of Innovation].

Cresanti will be a featured speaker at the Options for Action Summit in Gaithersburg, Maryland, tomorrow, July 18. Jointly hosted by NIST and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the purpose of the summit is to bring together leaders from government, industry, the standards developing community, and academia to identify standards-related actions that can help to improve U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace.

The American National Standards Institute recently announced its intent to establish a standards panel to address identity theft prevention and identity management standards. [See related article: New Standards Panel to Coordinate Identity Theft Protection Standards Activities].

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