There's another story out there that says if you visit the gov. website for Cash for Clunkers a warning pops up and says use of this sight will mean the gov owns your computer and everything on it.... that sounded pretty far out but it was on Glen Beck and he showed a screen shot of it on TV.
Anyway, this from Raw Story, Aug. 11, 2009
White House proposal to track government website users stirs fears
A White House proposal to end a long-standing policy forbidding government websites from tracking users could lead to "the mass collection of personal information of every user of a federal government website," says the ACLU.
Civil liberties groups like the ACLU and the Electronic Privacy Information Center are lining up against a plan, proposed by the Obama administration, to end a policy that has been in place since 2000 preventing government websites from installing tracking cookies on users' computers.
Opponents of the proposal point out that tracking cookies can be used not only to keep track of what an individual has done or seen on the website in question, but also to track what other websites that person has visited, and what personal information they have handed over to the website. Thus, it is often possible to identify a computer user based on data stored in tracking cookies.
"It appears that these companies are forcing the government to lower the privacy protections that the government had promised the American people," Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the Washington Post. "The government should be requiring companies to raise the level of privacy protection if they want government contracts."
According to the Post, the EFF and EPIC are pointing to "an unnamed federal government agency" that signed a contract with Google earlier this year that "carved out an exemption from the ban so that the agency could use Google's YouTube video player."
To many privacy watchdogs, that agreement is the thin end of the wedge that will allow the government to monitor ever more closely people's activities on government websites.
"EPIC strongly favors public access to new media and the government’s innovative use of new technology," the group said in a statement. "At the same time, we think it is unnecessary and shortsighted to allow government agencies to stalk citizens with persistent identifiers."
But supporters of the proposed change to government policy "say social networking and similar services, which often take advantage of the tracking technologies, have transformed how people communicate over the Internet, and Obama's aides say those services can make government more transparent and increase public involvement," the Post reports.
-- Daniel Tencer