Web 2.0, regulations may collide
White House officials say some regulations need to be re-evaluated
- By Doug Beizer
- Jun 17, 2009
Older regulations, such as the Paperwork Reduction Act, do not always
work well with new Web 2.0 tools championed by White House officials,
according to a blog post
by Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, and Michael
Fitzpatrick, associate administrator for the Office of Management and
Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
part of the Obama administration’s effort to create an interactive
government is to determine how Web 2.0 tools can be used for
communication and information sharing, according to the blog posted on
The post on June 16 discusses the backgrounds
of current policies and provides examples of what White House officials
have heard from the public during a brainstorming outreach effort.
example, the Paperwork Reduction Act was written some years ago with
the aim of cutting back on administrative and paperwork burdens on the
public. The act is also designed to ensure that the information
collected from and provided to the public has the greatest possible
For example, the law encourages agencies to make raw data
in electronic formats available to the public, much in the spirit of
efforts such as the recently launched Data.gov, the blog states.
according to one federal employee, the trouble that the act imposes on
interactive Web innovations is it imposes a burden on agencies to
obtain any user-generated input.
“The result is that we often don’t go to the trouble,” of using interactive tools, the employee said, according to the blog.
commented that the act creates ambiguity about when its provisions
apply to interactive activities like blogs and wikis, according to the
White House officials want more input on how to make the Paperwork Reduction Act more effective, the blog says.
protect the privacy of the public. The policy limited
the use of persistent cookies by federal agencies. A cookie is a small
piece of software that tracks or authenticates Web viewing activities
by the user.
One piece of feedback said cookies are valuable
for determining what content Web site visitors find most important.
Information from cookies leads to better-designed, more navigable Web
sites, the blog says.
“Recognizing the fundamental change in
technology in the past nine years, and the feedback that we’ve received
so far, the Office of Management and Budget is re-examining the cookie
policy as part of this Open Government Initiative,” the blog states.
Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.