-Legislative rules: The orbit of personal data within government is defined in statute. Use existing provisions as a protective hedge; keep amendments record-centric.

-All points: Provide privacy notices anywhere personal information is collected or displayed, including the Internet, paper forms, call centers and face-to-face interviews. If people object, their argument is with legislature.

-Developer's Rorschach test: Development teams' thoughts are often visible in the system diagrams drawn -- privacy and security tend to be relegated to the margins as a dashed red line; picture privacy at the center, not the edges.

-Design privacy in: Privacy is sometimes seen as an impediment to elegant engineering. As we move forward, privacy is elegant engineering.

No watchdog activist or consumer group has greater interest in privacy and security of information exchange with citizens than government. The public-sector IT community needs to find its voice in this vital conversation. It is Y2K all over again -- except the stakes and noise level are much higher.

Paul W. Taylor, Ph.D., , is the chief strategy officer of the Center for Digital Government, former deputy state CIO of Washington and a veteran of startups.

Paul W. Taylor  |  Contributing Writer