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YouTube Removes Cookies From the White House

15 06 2009 – Recently, we wrote about the White House taking measures to ensure that the videos that appear on Whitehouse.gov do not set cookies that retrieve information about viewers’ online habits – something that embedded YouTube videos do.

In response, YouTube added an option to set cookies to delayed mode, making sure that YouTube tracks information only from those visitors who actually click on the video.

Now, YouTube has taken it a step further, completely ignoring the cookies collected from visitors to Whitehouse.gov. It’s a step in the right direction, but once again, it’s only an exception that’s been made solely to satisfy the White House’s demands. Thus, the question from the original article still stands: if YouTube’s privacy policy isn’t good enough for the US government – to the extent that YouTube has to make exceptions to its rules – is it good enough for the rest of us?

Source: mashable.com

White House Now on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter

twitter white house04 05 2009 – The White House this weekend opened a variety of social networking sites, including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter accounts, presumably in an effort to show that just because he sits in the Oval Office, doesn’t make our current tech-savvy president less cool. After eight years of relative opacity, this Web 2.0 version of the government comes as a welcome burst of fresh air and transparency.

These new social networking memberships join the growing list of Web 2.0 initiatives President Obama’s White House has adopted since taking oath. The White House is currently a supporter of Flickr, the video site Vimeo, YouTube and iTunes for videos and podcasts.

white house twitterSo far, the MySpace and Facebook profiles look and feel similar to the White House’s official blog, recycling content such as the President’s weekly YouTube address (the 21st century version of the 60-year-old Saturday Presidential radio message), updated information about the swine flu outbreak, and various other matters.

It’s unsure whether President Obama will tweet himself, though. The Washington Post‘s Jim Hoagland claims to have "authoritative" evidence to the contrary. He grabbed a moment with Macon Phillips, the architect behind Obama’s revolutionarily connected campaign. "But I don’t think the president is the right person for this. There are better ways to engage the micro-blogging community," Phillips said. He didn’t elaborate his point, leaving me to believe he has no idea what he’s talking about. How else besides Twitter would someone touch base with the microblogging community?

Also joining the Twitter craze is former vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin. So far her Twitter feed is primarily focused on Alaskan politics, though it will be one site to watch as 2012 creeps up.

Source: PC World