The US Government Is Watching You

The Obama Administration recently announced that government agencies may begin tracking traffic and behavioral data online in order to better target information and services for the people who need them.

The Government has a two step process in releasing this plan. First, the administration wants to make the government’s web presence easier to navigate, and more useful. And second, it wants to monitor what information has proved most helpful so it can optimize how it communicates with American citizens on the web.

Privacy is so crucial to the topic of government tracking and targeting that the memorandum the administration issued on the topic tackles it in the introduction. The Office of Management and Budget, which will be charged with carrying out the policy changes.

In doing so, it will take extreme measures to separate individuals’ identities from their online behavior. There are also rules set out prohibiting agencies collecting this data from sharing it with anyone else, even other government departments, without express permission from the users in question.

There will be many safeguards built-in, that includes limits on how long measurement data can be retained and requirements to comply with Federal Records Act regulations. Agencies’ measurement and customization tools are also subject to regular audits to ensure that they are, in fact, in compliance with these standards.