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Feds Consider Adding 'Cookies' to Web Sites; Will Privacy Crumble?

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posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 03:56 PM

Feds Consider Adding 'Cookies' to Web Sites; Will Privacy Crumble?

The Office of Management and Budget is considering reversing a nine-year ban on using "cookies" to track users' preferences and interests on federal Web sites.

The shift in policy is being billed as a way for government to enter the 21st century and for federal agencies to use the same technology utilized on news sites, retail sites and social media networks. Online retailers, for example, use cookies to suggest items of interest based on previous purchases. If you recently bought a New York Yankees jersey, a Web site might recommend buying a book about Alex Rodriguez the next time you v
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 03:56 PM
MSM is covering this considered policy reversal allowing the Feds to use cookies for tracking again. They stopped this practice quite a long time ago.

It has tremendous privacy implications. I really don't understand why they would even have to TELL us this. My guess would be to avoid a backlash. But avoiding backslashes doesn't seem to jive with the rest of the policies coming off the hill.

I know it will nauseate you to check the source, as they usually spew lots of trip, but you really should read it to get an idea of what the implications are.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:00 PM
This will have no effect on privacy what so ever, what a misleading headline. This site uses "cookies" to keep you logged in, so does Google, etc, etc. Nothing to do with "privacy" the only privacy concern is advertisers who scan your cookies to show you relevant ads...but that's about all they could do with this.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:05 PM
I saw this article on the ACLU's website a few days ago
I thought how stupid it was

Cookies are used EVERYWHERE!

Even ATS uses cookies, otherwise you'd have to login everytime you visit ATS.

As soon as you visit a website that doesn't use cookies, the web server still puts a cookie on your computer.

Nothing to see here

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:08 PM
Cookies already exist and are active on website. In fact many websites require your website to receive cookies in order to allow registration or login.

This article however, relates to the topic of using cookies rather then adding cookies to track and record users interests on federal sites.

(Edited Typos)

[edit on 12-8-2009 by Scooby Doo]

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:10 PM
reply to post by yellowcard

Issues in Information Technology: Cookies

The information in cookies can tell a lot about a user's preferences and habits on the Internet. Cookies can store information that contains things spanning from what kind of products you buy, to how many times you have visited a particular web site (4). For example, a user can visit and put in College park's zip code to get the weather daily. Later on in the week, that user can go to the site, and it will automatically take the user to College Park's weather without putting in his or her zip code.

Just in case you needed some more information about the potential use of cookies.

Another way, in which cookies are used in websites, is to gather information from your perusing of the various websites without user knowledge. Usually, cookies are left on a computer without informing the user that personal information may be stored there. Websites then use these cookies to customize the banner advertisements, that are prevalent on many websites today, to your particular interests. This is done in hopes of generating business for the advertiser or revenue for the website.

Another problem is one of privacy. Many users like the internet for its anonymity. The idea that an individual or organization could actually be tracking where they are going and what sites they are visiting really bothers some users. The fact that some of this tracking information could be used for the purpose of making money, by targeting advertising for instance, also concerns some users. There have also been incidents where government websites are found to be using cookies. Although these cookies may not be used to track visitors, the fact that the government could use this method to track users, concerns many privacy activists (13).

If you are knowingly attempting to mislead our members, I am very concerned.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:13 PM
if you think that you have anonymity on the web now, there is a bigger conspiracy you need to worry about. That would be how long has that been true? Your every word is logged and your every digital conversation (cell phone) is saved. Big brother has been here for a while. He came after 1984, but way before 2009. Privacy is what you have in the can. Providing you don't have cats.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:19 PM
YES. Cookies EXIST. YES, Cookies are used by many, many sites. This one included. The significance of this is that it's the federal government.

They stopped using cookies on their websites in 2000.

Here is part of that memo

Particular privacy concerns may be raised when uses of web technology can track the activities of users over time and across different web sites. These concerns are especially great where individuals who have come to government web sites do not have clear and conspicuous notice of any such tracking activities. "Cookies" -- small bits of software that are placed on a web user's hard drive -- are a principal example of current web technology that can be used in this way.

Because of the unique laws and traditions about government access to citizens' personal information, the presumption should be that "cookies" will not be used at Federal web sites. Under this new Federal policy, "cookies" should not be used at Federal web sites, or by contractors when operating web sites on behalf of agencies, unless, in addition to clear and conspicuous notice, the following conditions are met: a compelling need to gather the data on the site; appropriate and publicly disclosed privacy safeguards for handling of information derived from "cookies"; and personal approval by the head of the agency. In addition, it is federal policy that all Federal web sites and contractors when operating on behalf of agencies shall comply with the standards set forth in the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 with respect to the collection of personal information online at web sites directed to children.

Cookies can also be used to keep track of what site you visited BEFORE the site that has the cookie.

It's hard to believe the speed at which people are willing to accept the reinstatement of this policy.

Above, in the white house's memo, please pay attention to HOW they say cookies can be used.

If you really want to chant 'these aren't the droids your looking for.' then this article is apparently not for you.

[edit on 12-8-2009 by KSPigpen]

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:21 PM
I just posted this in the first thread about this but since there are more posts here I will post it here as well.
I might be being ignorant here but isn't this propaganda?
I always thought they already do that and have been for awhile.
Think of the Bush administration.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:28 PM
You were beat by seconds. Please contribute to the first thread posted on this subject, found here.

Closing thread.

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