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Vol. LX, No. 14
July 11, 2008

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Online Privacy Awareness Training To Be Mandatory

Recent breaches of government data have prompted an increase in federal privacy training requirements. The NIH Office of the Senior Official for Privacy has begun implementing HHS guidance to meet new government-wide requirements for protecting personally identifiable information, sensitive and Privacy Act-covered data.

A mandatory first step will be completion of NIH privacy awareness training by all staff and contractors. Institutes and centers have opted to launch training in either a phased approach or immediately. Workers will be contacted directly to complete training by a specified deadline. All new employees and contractors are required to complete training within 60 days of employment and annually thereafter.

Completion of the course—available at—should take about 30-60 minutes. The course contains useful information and is easy to navigate. When you’ve completed the course, you’ll have a better understanding of the NIH privacy program, your responsibilities to protect the privacy of others and where to get help.

“We all must make a significant effort to sustain the public’s trust in our ability to protect them as they give their time and participation for the sake of our research,” says Karen Plá, NIH senior official for privacy. “By learning about what we can do to protect privacy, we will minimize the risk of another costly breach and continue to pursue our mission of helping to save lives, while demonstrating respect to those who assist us in our groundbreaking discoveries here at the NIH.”

If you have questions about the training, contact your IC privacy coordinator ( In addition, read The NIH Eye on Privacy sent out by the Division of Management Support, NIH Office of Management Assessment. Questions about privacy impact assessments or general information can be directed to your privacy coordinator or to Plá via email ( or by phone (301) 451-3426. To learn more about the Office of the Senior Official for Privacy, visit NIHRecord Icon

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