Web privacy guides unclear
- By Diane Frank
- Jun 04, 2001
The failure of Office of Management and Budget officials to spell out privacy guidelines in clear and concise terms has created continuing privacy concerns about agency Web sites, according to a new report by the General Accounting Office.
The report focuses on the use of "cookies," which are small pieces of software stored on users' computers when they visit a Web site. OMB officials have given agencies do's and don'ts for cookies, but the guidelines are spread across several memoranda and a letter to the federal CIO Council that is not included on the OMB Web site, GAO found.
OMB leaders told GAO that session cookies do not present a privacy concern, and therefore, no disclosure is required. But by following this position, agencies could state they are not using cookies while using session cookies.
OMB officials had no written comment to GAO on the report.