Concern over use of cookies on government websites

By TPN/Lusa, in Tech, Politics · 09-07-2021 12:27:00 · 1 Comments

The Minister of Modernization of the State said on 7 July that "there is no reason for social alarm" about the websites of the Public Administration that use 'cookies', in a framework of ethical commitment to the use of data, ensuring that they are “not shared”.

"We even asked the Agency for Administrative Modernization to carry out an analysis and what we found, in general, is that there is no reason for social alarm around this issue," said the Minister for Modernization of the State and Public Administration, Alexandra Leitão, referring to the use of cookies on the websites of the Public Administration.

“It is true that many Public Administration websites use these third party 'cookies', these analytical cookies. It is true that in some cases they resort to Google Analytics or other pre-existing ones on the market, which, incidentally, are free to use, but always within the framework of an ethical commitment to use this data, with the guarantee that they are not shared", declared the minister, in response to the deputies.

The so-called cookies are a kind of software codes that are stored on the computer through the browser and which retain information related to the user's preferences. Analytical cookies are used for the purpose of creating and analyzing statistics, in order to improve the functioning of the website.

In this sense, Alexandra Leitão recalled the position of the president of the National Data Protection Commission (CNPD), Filipa Calvão, referring that Google does not know the user's number regarding the Google Analytics cookies, “and may eventually be able to identify through the IP [unique identification for each computer], but is committed not to do so in accordance with what are the commitments to use Google Analytics”.

"Even so, I think there is a path here that must be taken and that goes, essentially, through such verification not only of what exists and compliance with all of these points I mentioned, that is, one can refuse without losing functionalities of the website, you can choose some and not choose others and then, ultimately even choosing to use it, ensure that they are not shared”, she pointed out.

According to the official, this is not just a problem of technological development capacity, as it is also a question of cost/benefit analysis due to the proprietary development of this type of solutions internalized in Public Administration.

"If it is possible, of course, to carry out this internalized technological development with more guarantees, without prejudice to repeating that there is no cause for alarm around this situation here, naturally we will take this into account and we are already developing this work at CTIC”, she reinforced.

As for the General Regulation on Data Protection (RGPD), in force since May 2018, Alexandra Leitão highlighted that "it binds all public and private entities, which have had and which must to have some time to adapt".



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Comments:

The pb w/this is that trust, once broken, takes a lot of time and HONEST work to restore. If personal data from activist refugees living here was shared w/ gvrts/countries they fled from, this sharing, even if done inadvertedly(why don´t I believe that?) by our Lisbon Mayor, Mr. Medina, why should we trust gvrt?? No one at high level offices is ever held accountable for anything. Why should we expect anything better or trust anyone from our gvrt at this time??

By guida from Lisbon on 10-07-2021 06:20
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