Are Times Changing for US Government Web Analytics?

  • 17-Jun-2009

It may be that we are on the verge of significant changes to the US Federal government policy on the use of persistent cookies.

The White House blog is inviting comment on how a new cookie policy should be shaped: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Enhancing-Online-Citizen-Participation-Through-Policy/

I've posted my comments on the site and have reprinted them on:http://wam.typepad.com/wam/2009/06/us-federal-government-cookie-policy-under-review.html

My recommendations for a new policy are fairly straightforward:

  • Allow the use of first party, persistent cookies for Web site measurement.
  • Prominently disclose how Web site measurement is used and how the data is collected and analyzed.
  • Provide instructions for how users may delete persistent cookies from their browser settings.
  • Combination of PII and unique visitor ID (persistent cookie ID) will not be used for analysis.

 

What do you think? Is this enough? Not enough? I'm all for privacy protection as those of you who've read the commentary I wrote with Tony: www.cmswatch.com/Feature/191-Data-Ownership

However, I would advocate a balance between privacy and analysis, so that Federal web managers can provide more effective sites.

What's your take?