Government Rethinks Ban on Tracking Web Site VisitorsAugust 7, 2009 – In The News
The federal government has long banned the use on agency web sites of cookies, which are commonly utilized on news, shopping and social networking sites to track visitors’ interests and habits. The Office of Management and Budget is reconsidering that policy, however, according to an OMB announcement released July 27.
For example, in 2008, the European Union’s data privacy regulators said IP addresses should be considered personal information. “So one organization has spoken out and said, 'We consider this private information, and we are going to regulate it,'” McCreary said.
It is not clear whether the federal government should use the technology in the same manner as private companies, he added. “It is really important to step back and say, ‘Why does the federal government need to do this? What is the point?’” McCreary said.