"The American commitment to privacy is built upon our Constitution, two centuries of common law, the seminal writing of Brandeis and Warren, government policy leaders who first articulated the Fair Information Practice Principles in 1973 and an extensive network of laws, regulations and policies. Consistent with this tradition, the U.S. is home to the largest international organization of privacy professionals as well as the world's most active and well-organized privacy advocacy community. Against this backdrop, it is no surprise that when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS or Department) was created in 2002, its establishing legislation included a specific statute to establish a Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) with a wide range of privacy powers. This was the first statutorily mandated CPO with extensive authority to oversee privacy in a U.S. government agency. […] Internationally, the U.S. and Europe have long honored one another's protections of shared values and freedoms. Despite different legal frameworks and government structures, the U.S. and Europe have practiced comity and mutual recognition to effectively work together on cross-border law enforcement and the enforcement of civil judgments from one side of the Atlantic to the other. Now, however, despite evidence to the contrary, some in the EU are calling into question whether the U.S. provides effective privacy protection for their citizens. This criticism is particularly acute in the context of security and law enforcement programs, where border protection systems impact European travelers. What is the source for this skepticism? Listening to our European critics, many of whom are independent data protection authorities, their doubts appear to be based largely on the lack of precise counterpart entities in the U.S."
United States. Dept. of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/