“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".