Government, Cookies, and Federal Web Sites – Continued

After posting two articles on this Web site here and here related to the Obama administration seriously considering allowing much greater flexibility regarding the use of cookies and tracking devices on government Web sites, I thought I was finished with the topic. That is until this morning August 25 when I notices a well written and thoughtful editorial about “cookies” and the web in the New York Times. Since the editorial helped to clarify my thinking I wanted to share it with you here.

After a discussion of the issues, here in a nutshell are the concerns raised and approaches presented in the editorial:

1. More stringent requirements regarding the permanent and prominet display of notices on all government Web sites to clearly inform users that use of the Web sites is being tracked.

2. Make it easy for Web site users to opt out of being tracked if they so choose.

3. Have systematic procedures for purging information obtained on government Web sites through the use of “cookies” or other tracking systems as quickly and regularly as possible.

4.It is of greatest importance that the government build robust privacy protections into any tracking technology used on its Web sites.

5.. These rules and regulations should apply to outside parties that operate on government Web sites.

To see the editorial go to: I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

David Badertscher

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