Very few Internet users really understand how persistent identifiers, such as “cookies,” record and track their online activities. But it is clear that when users take the time to examine this issue, they are not happy. This was clear when the White House initially proposed to make the President’s speeches available on YouTube without taking privacy into account. Changes were made, but the problem could have been avoided.
EPIC strongly favors public access to new media and the government’s innovative use of new technology. At the same time, we think it is unnecessary and shortsighted to allow government agencies to stalk citizens with persistent identifiers.
EPIC recommends that the administration extend the policy against persistent identifiers to all government web sites. The government should not be tracking the public’s access to government information.