CIA Web Site Cans Cookies After Report

    Date20 Mar 2002
    CategoryGovernment
    2827
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    A Web site operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) today discontinued marking visitors with a unique identification tag, or "cookie," after a non-profit group complained about the practice. The use of "persistent" cookies at the CIA's Electronic Reading Room . . . A Web site operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) today discontinued marking visitors with a unique identification tag, or "cookie," after a non-profit group complained about the practice. The use of "persistent" cookies at the CIA's Electronic Reading Room (ERR) site, which provides online access to previously released CIA documents, violated federal privacy guidelines and the agency's own privacy policy, according to Public Information Research (PIR), a Texas-based non-profit which reported the practice to the agency Friday.

    Designed to remain on the visitor's computer until December 2010, the cookies contained the user's Internet protocol (IP) address as well as a unique identification number, Newsbytes confirmed this morning.

    According to a spokesperson, the CIA was not aware that the site, located at http://www.foia.ucia.gov , was placing the tracking files on visitors' computers. The representative said the technology was inadvertently added by a contractor during a redesign of the site that was completed Jan. 29.

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