Aug 022012
 
 August 2, 2012  Featured News, Online

Daniel Castro provides yeoman service by digging into privacy policies and tracking used by the Obama and Romney campaign web sites and mobile apps.   Here’s a snippet from his comparison analysis:

Methods of Tracking

Organizations routinely use information to track how users interact with a website or other digital media. The Romney for President privacy policy only references the use of cookies to track users. The Obama for America privacy policy notes that it users both browser cookies and local shared objects (i.e., flash cookies) on its site.  It also uses web beacons (e.g. clear graphic files) to track usage of the website and campaign emails.  I find it unusual that the Romney for President campaign is not using web beacons or similar technology to track the effectiveness of campaign emails. This suggests to me that either it is running a less sophisticated social media operation than the Obama for America campaign or that its privacy policy is inaccurate.

Cookies

The Obama for America website has 16 third-party cookies compared to 11 on the Romney for President website. More (or less) use of cookies should not be interpreted positively or negatively. Four of these third-party cookies are used on both campaign websites. The cookies are for the following domain names: adnxs.com, atdmt.com, beacon-1.newrelic.com, and doubleclick.net.  Adnxs.com is for AppNexus, an online advertising platform; atdmt.com is Atlas Solutions, part of Microsoft Advertising; newrelic.com is for New Relic, a website performance tool; and doubleclick.net is for the Google AdSense network.

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