August 25, 2009 | By Tim Jones

The New York Times on Government Website Privacy

Today's New York Times includes their editorial board's take on revising government web tracking policy. Their recommendations align closely with those we made in coordination with The Center for Democracy and Technology earlier this month:

Officials say they recognize that people must be told that their use of Web sites is being tracked — and be given a chance to opt out. More is needed. The government should commit to displaying such notices prominently on all Web pages — and to making it easy for users to choose not to be tracked.

It must promise that tracking data will be used only for the purpose it was collected for: if someone orders a pamphlet on living with cancer, it should not end up in a general database. Information should be purged regularly and as quickly as possible. These rules must apply to third parties that operate on government sites.

The Obama administration is working to better harness the power of the Internet to deliver government services. That is good. But it needs to be mindful that people should be able to get help and be assured that their privacy is being vigilantly protected.

Last week, CDT's Alissa Cooper summarized our recommendations in detail on CDT's PolicyBeta blog.

Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

We're glad to see that adoption of HTTPS encryption has skyrocketed. h/t @PardonSnowden

Oct 20 @ 12:42pm

The Student Privacy Pledge stops short of fully protecting students and their information.

Oct 20 @ 10:44am

Snowden's effect on tech? People have adopted better security habits.

Oct 20 @ 10:06am
JavaScript license information