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Commonwealth of Virginia State Seal


Chief Information Officer
Robert Osmond
Virginia Information Technologies Agency7325 Beaufont Springs Drive
Richmond, VA 23225
(804) 510-7300TDD VOICE -TEL. NO. 711
For additional information contact:
Lindsay LeGrand, APR
Director of Communications
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 09:09:00 EST
For immediate release

Data Privacy Week begins Jan. 22, 2023: Virginians encouraged to learn about online privacy and protecting their personal information

Data Privacy Week runs from Jan. 22 – 28, 2023, in the Commonwealth of Virginia
(Richmond, VA) - 

Data Privacy Week begins next week on Jan. 22, 2023, in Virginia. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and Virginia’s Office of Data Governance and Analytics (ODGA) are encouraging people and organizations in the Commonwealth to use Data Privacy Week, which runs through Jan. 28, as an opportunity to learn about online privacy and take the steps needed to keep their information safe.

“Cybersecurity is a critical priority in the Commonwealth and it goes hand-in-hand with data privacy,” said Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth Robert Osmond. “The more people and organizations understand about data privacy, the easier it will be for them to protect themselves and their customers.”

“As we share more and more of our information online it is important to be mindful of how easy it is for others to build a profile even by knowing only your phone number,” said Chief Data Officer of the Commonwealth Ken Pfeil. “Another place to exercise caution is when responding to social media quizzes that could give away answers to security questions such as the model of your first car or where you went to elementary school.”

“For individuals, remember that all your online activity generates a trail of data. Websites, apps and services collect data on your behaviors, interests and purchases. It’s also important for organizations and businesses to respect the privacy of customers, staff and all other stakeholders to inspire trust in your organization,” said Chief Information Security Officer of the Commonwealth Michael Watson. “There are a few simple actions that individuals, organizations and businesses can take to deter bad actors and hackers and stay cyber safe.”

For individuals those actions include:

  • Know the tradeoff between privacy and convenience: When you download a new app, open a new online account or join a new social media platform, you will often be asked for access to your personal information. Consider whether the service is worth the data you must hand over, even if the services are free.
  • Adjust privacy settings to your comfort level: For every app, account or device, check the privacy and security settings, and set them to your comfort level. Generally, it’s wiser to share less data, not more.
  • Protect your data by using a long and unique password for each account and device; enable multifactor authentication (MFA); and enable automatic device and software updates.

For organizations those actions include:

  • Conduct an assessment of your data collection practices and understand which privacy laws apply to your businesses.
  • Adopt a privacy framework: Research how a privacy framework can work for you, helping you manage risk and creating a culture of privacy in your organization.
  • Educate your employees: They are the frontline toward protecting all the data your organization collects. Ensure that they’re aware of their and your organization’s obligations to protecting personal information.

For more information, visit the VITA website and the website of the Office of Data Governance and Analytics.


About the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA)
VITA is the commonwealth's consolidated technology services and solutions provider responsible for the operation of the state's technology infrastructure, governance, security and oversight of major IT projects, and procurement of technology-related goods and services on behalf of state and local governments.


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