A new White House private policy was released on Friday that explains how the federal government will gather the data of users of its online site WhiteHouse.gov, social media sites and mobile apps. It also clarifies that comments online, whether tributes or tirades are part of the open domain.
The new private policy says that information chosen to be shared with the White House either directly or through a third party site may be treated as information that is public.
The White House administration has also promised not to sell any data of visitors online. However, it cannot make that same assurance for users that go on third party sites of the White House on Facebook, Google Plays or Twitter.
The White House also can track whether emails from the government website are opened or forwarded or printed.
These latest updates were necessary due to the old policy being too old, said Nathaniel Lubin, the digital director for the White House.
Obama’s administration came into office on a campaign hailed for its savvy online abilities and quickly, since taking office, adapted to online engagement, embracing the use of Internet across each of its agencies.
Obama’s administration is the first one with the Office of Digital Strategy and now includes a petitions platform We the People, live chats online and over a dozen social media sites that include LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterst, Instagram, MySpace, Vine and seven different pages on Facebook, including Education to Innovate and La Casa Blanca.
Visitors linking to those sites for social media are advised that activity on the sites are governed by the security and privacy of the third party sites, which frequently allow the companies to sell data from users.
President Obama said the policy would keep some of the email data generated, use of Mobile App data and some data from users until the current administration ends.