User Login    
 + Register
News : White House Updating Online Privacy Policy
Posted by Randy on 2014/4/18 4:19:43 (309 reads) News by the same author

A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain.
Click to see original Image in a new window

"Information you choose to share with the White House (directly and via third party sites) may be treated as public information," the new policy says.

The Obama Administration also promises not to sell the data of online visitors. But it cannot make the same assurances for users who go to third-party White House sites on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

There will be no significant changes in actual practices under the new policy. But legal jargon and bureaucratic language has been stripped out, making it easier for readers to now understand that the White House stores the date, time and duration of online visits; the originating Internet Protocol address; how much data users transmit from WhiteHouse.gov to their computers; and more. The administration also tracks whether emails from the White House are opened, forwarded or printed.

The updates were needed because "Our old privacy policy was just that - old," blogged Obama's digital director Nathaniel Lubin.

After coming to office in a campaign lauded for its online savvy, President Barack Obama's White House has quickly adapted to online engagement since taking office in 2008, embracing using the Internet in all of its manifestations. The first administration with an Office of Digital Strategy, Obama's online strategy now includes a We the People petitions platform, live online chats and more than a dozen social media sites including Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, MySpace and seven different Facebook pages including La Casa Blanca and Education to Innovate.

Visitors who link to those social media sites are advised: "Your activity on those sites is governed by the third-party website's security and privacy policies," which frequently allow those companies to sell users' data. In addition, the White House archives Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus content to comply with the Presidential Records Act.

The policy says Obama will keep some information - automatically generated email data, Mobile App use data and some cookie data - until the end of the current administration. The White House is also explicit about what it doesn't do, including collecting geolocation information from mobile-app users or sharing information for commercial purposes.

The policy is being released at a time when the administration is facing unprecedented criticism over disclosures from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that expose sweeping U.S. government surveillance programs. The policy aims to address at least some of those concerns.thama

White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said they also do not give third parties, including the political organization Obama for America or the U.S. National Security Agency, access to their email database or other systems.

"Within the White House, we restrict access to personally identifiable information to employees, contractors, and vendors subject to non-disclosure requirements who require access to this information in order to perform their official duties and exercise controls to limit what data they can view based on the specific needs of their position," the policy says.

For example, if someone gives the White House a telephone number or email address, staffers might respond to the message or petition, providing information or even services if appropriate. They might also take messages, comments, Twitter replies and Facebook comments to use for public advocacy, like promoting Obama's health-care overhaul.

If a user asks the White House a question that is really about homeland security, the user's information may be shared with that agency. And if someone is trying to report a federal crime, or threatening someone, that person's information may be passed on to law enforcement.

Lehrich said that when people share comments or sign online petitions through the We the People platform, it's with the understanding that it is public information.

Reviews from privacy experts - who have been watching the privacy-policy revisions closely - were mixed.

The biggest problem, said Jeramie Scott, national security counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., is not what happens when users are on WhiteHouse.gov, but when they click onto the White House's third-party social media sites that don't abide by Obama's own privacy rules and may sell personal data they glean from users.

"Interacting with the White House and its different sites is inherently political, and that type of thing shouldn't be used for commercial gain," Scott said.

Mark Jaycox, a legislative analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, said the new policy underscores the administration's ongoing interest in collecting data. "You see it across the board. You saw it in the campaign. You see it in the White House petitions. This is just one more step toward amassing more information," he said.

Jaycox said the new policy is not explicit enough about what the White House does with information it gathers. "The onerous thing is we don't know what they're doing on the back end with all of this data," he said.

But several privacy experts praised the new policy as more explicit and understandable.

"It's a nice gesture by the White House," said Federation of American Scientists secrecy expert Steven Aftergood in Washington. "I think the move reflects a heightened public awareness of privacy concerns, which is commendable."

Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project director John Simpson said that in terms of pure disclosure, "this seems to be one of the better policies, a model perhaps for others."

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2015/7/3 4:51:14 - Bridge South Of Gallatin Set To Close For 3 Weeks
2015/7/3 4:44:53 - Fireworks Go Off At Dark Tonight In Trenton
2015/7/3 4:28:38 - Miss Missouri Comes Home
2015/7/3 4:00:00 - Man's Obituary Simply Reads "Doug Died"
2015/7/3 4:00:00 - Police: Woman Dies In Boone County Courtroom
2015/7/3 3:59:53 - French Mother Gets 9 Years In Prison For Killing 8 Newborns
2015/7/2 8:58:03 - Wright Memorial Hospital Foundation Receives Grant From Union Pacific
2015/7/2 8:49:30 - Trenton Park Board Meets
2015/7/2 8:45:38 - Tri-County Board Of Education Approves Budget
2015/7/2 6:35:02 - Teen Receives Serious Injuries, Demolishes Vehicle In Accident Near Green City
2015/7/2 4:43:49 - Macon Officials Dedicate Solar Farm
2015/7/2 4:38:49 - Police: Missouri Man Kills Self During Standoff
2015/7/2 4:29:07 - Missouri Public Service Commission Rejects Plan For Multistate Wind Power
2015/7/2 4:12:53 - Police: Bomb Found In Car During Springfield Traffic Stop
2015/7/2 4:09:03 - New Law In Effect Allows Kansans To Carry Concealed Weapons Without Permit
2015/7/2 4:03:37 - School Charges Mother $77,000 For Access To Emails Involving Son
2015/7/1 7:36:28 - Chillicothe Man Injured When Pool Carries Him Out Of Pickup
2015/7/1 6:37:47 - Clerk Accused Of Shooting Teen Allegedly Over Theft Of Cookies
2015/7/1 6:31:57 - Boy Found Chained To Porch With Chicken Around Neck Speaks Out For First Time
2015/7/1 5:28:17 - Public School Application Asks If Child Was Born By C-Section
2015/7/1 4:45:45 - Mom Arrested After Boy 4, Left Tied On Leash To Bush
2015/7/1 4:36:46 - Death Of Boy Pushed In Swing For 3 Days Ruled Homicide
2015/7/1 4:30:00 - Former Circuit Clerk From Northeast Missouri Enters Plea
2015/7/1 4:24:53 - Teens Storm Georgia Wal-Mart In Wild Rampage Of Destruction
2015/6/30 6:31:13 - Mosaic To Offer Reduced Cost Sports Physicals
2015/6/30 4:47:08 - Son Arrested After Argument Over Spoiled Meat
2015/6/30 4:34:11 - Woman Gives Birth Alone On Back Road, Is Stranded With Newborn For Three Days
2015/6/30 4:21:04 - Man In Custody After Moberly Police Chase
2015/6/30 4:16:46 - Officer Crashes Into Home When Responding To What Turned Out As Prank Call
2015/6/30 4:10:10 - Missouri Man Sentenced To 6 Years In Synthetic Pot Case



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM