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White House: C is for cookie, it's good enough for YouTube

January 29, 2009

It's nice to see that someone at the White House is reading the work of privacy maven Chris Soghoian. Less than a day after Chris drew attention to a special YouTube exemption in the privacy policy for WhiteHouse.gov—permitting YouTube to plant tracking cookies on visitors' machines—the president's virtual home made some rapid changes.

First, they implemented what amounts to a homegrown version of EFF's MyTube tool, so that only those who actually click on the video, rather than all who visit the page, get cookified. Soon thereafter, they amended the posted privacy policy to refer to "third party providers" generically, rather than signaling a special status for YouTube. Still, the fuss prompted the Electronic Frontier Foundation to write to White House lawyers seeking more information about how an administration fond of touting the transformative power of tech would work to protect the privacy of visitors to government sites.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Ars Technica
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