Privacy Requirements

Requirement

All federal public websites* must comply with existing laws and directives that address the need to protect the privacy of the American people when they interact with their government. Some of the key requirements for federal public websites include:

  • Conducting privacy impact assessments;
  • Posting privacy policies on each website, including instructions on how to “opt-out” of any web tracking and measurement technologies the agency may use;
  • Posting a "Privacy Act Statement" that tells visitors the organization's legal authority for collecting personal data and how the data will be used; and
  • Translating privacy policies into a standardized machine–readable format.

 

Organizations should review the following laws and regulations related to privacy protections to ensure that their public websites meet the full range of requirements.

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Examples

  • Challenge.gov provides a concise explanation of their Use of Persistent Cookies policy.
  • The Social Security Administration has a comprehensive Privacy Policy that is written in plain language and clearly explains how SSA will handle personal information collected over the Internet.
  • The Department of Commerce has a machine readable privacy policy statement.
  • NOAA provides a clear explanation at the top of their Privacy Policy explaining that they are committed to privacy protection. They also provide an easy–to–read format about each topic related to privacy.
  • The National Institute of Health's My NCBI portal gives users a variety of ways to sign in, including via Google, or using IDs from affiliated partner organizations.

 


     *These requirements apply to executive departments and agencies and their public websites. Check the specific law to see if it also applies to the judicial or legislative agencies or to intranets.

 

Content Lead: Natalie Davidson
Page Reviewed/Updated: September 19, 2013

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