Our Work

The Privacy Office is guided by its Guiding Principles as enshrined in Division A16 "Privacy Principles" in the County Code of Ordinances: (right to privacy, compliance with privacy laws, balancing data and information sharing, and using a balanced approach to safeguarding personal information). 

The Privacy Office utilizes the Guiding Principles to inform our work in the following domains:

Advocacy

  • The Privacy Office collaborates with the County of Santa Clara Office of Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) to informed of emerging privacy issues at local, state, and federal levels. When appropriate, the Privacy Office may consult on pending federal or state legislation when the proposed rules align with the County’s values and Board of Supervisors approved legislative priorities. The Privacy Office is working to establish a Privacy Center of Excellence that will bring together experts in academia, business, advocacy groups, and government to discuss and develop privacy practices and solutions that better protect people and organizations.

What Data is collected about You?

  • Part of the work of the Privacy Office is informing the public about how personal data is collected whether by the County or private companies and organizations. The County strives to provide residents and visitors with detail on what data is being collected, why it’s being collected, and how it will be used.

Policies, Governance, Awareness

  • The County of Santa Clara operates through several major agencies and departments. The Privacy Office works collaboratively with these entities to promote the privacy of its residents and employees in policies, procedures, and processes across the County.
  • We are charged with managing the Surveillance Technology Ordinance enshrined in Division A40 of the County Code of Ordinances. This law requires that County Departments develop policies to ensure compliance with A40 as well as annual reports to report ongoing compliance.
  • We are currently launching a Privacy Champions Program for employees across County departments, developing County-wide training, and reviewing and updating County policies.

Privacy Impact Assessments and Privacy Reviews

  • The Privacy Office works across the County to review new data systems and technologies to ensure privacy is considered throughout the technology lifecycle.  This work involves reviews of data systems as well as hardware technologies. These reviews are completed in conjunction with the County’s Information Security Office. The Privacy Office uses the Surveillance Technology Ordinance-outlined processes when the Privacy Office and County Counsel jointly determine that a technology is regulated by this regulation.
  • Data Governance – the Privacy collaborates with other departments such as the Social Services Agency to help ensure that myriad data sharing practices are designed in alignment with our Guiding Principles, and that trusted partners utilize best in practice data sharing protocols.
  • Incident Response - the Privacy Office tracks privacy incidents and data breaches. This work aligns with our balanced approach to protecting data and supporting protocols and systems that protect County Data as well as personally identifiable information of members of the public.

Special Projects and Reports

  • The Privacy Office participates in special projects and produces reports on an as-needed basis. Examples of this type of work include projects with the Census 2020 Program, the Privacy Center of Excellence, facial recognition technology, monitoring and assessment approaches, data sharing coordination and reviews, and policy analysis and development.

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