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[FYI] U.S.: Drug Office Ends Tracking of Web Users


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June 22, 2000

Drug Office Ends Tracking of Web Users  

White House Admits Privacy Concerns  


WASHINGTON, June 21 -- The White House conceded today that it might 
have violated federal privacy guidelines, and it ordered its Office 
of National Drug Control Policy to stop using a software device that 
tracks computer users who view the government's antidrug 
advertisements on the Internet.  

To monitor traffic on its Internet sites for children and parents, 
the White House's drug policy office has employed computer files 
known as cookies, which are placed in computers electronically -- 
usually without the knowledge of users -- to monitor their Internet 

The software is widely used by commercial Web sites to record 
information about the shopping habits and other interests of their 
users. But White House officials said they saw a distinction between 
companies tracking customers and the government doing similar 


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