A Message to the DON Community from Aaron D. Weis, DON CIO

Published, April 14, 2020

Our day-to-day operations have fundamentally changed over the last several days, and most likely will continue to do so, creating a new battle rhythm for continuing operations. I am asking each of you to be mindful of how you handle our data (e.g. Unclassified, Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) including Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and Classified information) as we have moved to a mass telework environment in which to perform our roles and responsibilities.

As the DON’s Senior Official for Privacy, consider the following: If your job requires you to handle PII while you are temporarily working from home, review your telework agreement regarding the proper handling of sensitive information. I also recommend a review of the following new or updated resources:

  • The DoD Senior Official for Privacy recently published guidance addressing PII that relates to COVID-19, "Privacy Protection of COVID-19 Information." This document also incorporates general PII guidelines that should be followed in order to avoid privacy incidents.

  • The DON CIO and DUSN's recently updated "Acceptable Use of DON Information Technology," Feb. 25, 2020, provides guidance to users who access OWA for unclassified official email using their personally owned and other non-DoD computers.

Many of us work on classified programs which are not compatible with telework. At no time should classified material be taken from your official work space and worked on at home.

While we do not know exactly how long we will have to operate in this fashion, daily teleworking for now is the new norm, which can at times prove to be isolating. Remember to stay connected with your peers and colleagues while working from home. However, be mindful about what you discuss over non-government, non-encrypted devices. And to that end, wherever and however you are working during these challenging times, I ask that you continue to be diligent in protecting DON data while simultaneously protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of DON IT and its information.

Stay safe, and above all else, take care of your and your family’s health.

Aaron D. Weis
Senior Agency Official for Privacy

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