"Federal agencies have been restricted in their ability to offer users the option of advanced features that are powered by persistent cookies or other tracking technologies," the report notes.
Late last month, new federal CIO Vivek Kundra told Congress that current cookie restrictions were holding the government back from adopting social media. The White House recently stopped using YouTube for presidential videos, partially because of concerns over cookies there.
Already, the use of persistent cookies requires the government to disclose their use, demonstrate a compelling need to gather the data, demonstrate use of privacy safeguards in the handling of that data, and get personal approval for persistent cookie use from the agency head. However, the CDT and EFF admit this is limiting, especially because of the requirement to get approval from the agency head.
"Given the government’s increasing appetite for citizen data in recent years, the public is rightly skeptical about data collection on government Web sites," the report notes.
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