Friday, August 14, 2009

From the ACLU:

Since 2000, it has been the policy of the federal government not to use such technology. But the OMB is now seeking to change that policy and is considering the use of cookies for tracking web visitors across multiple sessions and storing their unique preferences and surfing habits.

I'll be the first one to say that this does not necessarily mean that the Government will be taking a 180 on privacy policy, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

The Office of Management and Budget responded on the 11th on the White House blog:

Over the past two weeks, during the public comment period on OMB’s cookie policy, we have received significant feedback and suggested revisions to the current policy. These comments reflect individual opinions on all sides of the issue.

Our main goal in revisiting the ban on using persistent cookies on Federal websites is to bring the federal government into the 21st century.

Yeah, like wiretapping? Or public cameras in the UK (now they actually have some in citizens' homes)? What an excuse! Bringing federal government into the 21st century does not explain a damned thing. The issue here is obviously to facilitate the enforcement of federal laws, from national security issues to child pornography, et cetera. Of course it would come from the OMB then. However, we have significantly trampled on privacy rights in the past 8 years, and anyone who thinks Obama is going to do anything to reverse the shift towards information mining on American citizens is delusional.

At this point, there's no need to be an alarmist; and hey, at least were not the UK...yet.

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