Memorandum M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies



On January 21, 2009, the President issued a memorandum calling for the establishment of “a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.”The memorandum required an Open Government Directive to be issued by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), instructing “executive departments and agencies to take specific actions implementing the principles set forth in this memorandum.” Implementing the President’s memorandum, OMB’s Open Government Directive requires a series of measures to promote the commitments to transparency, participation, and collaboration.

As the Internet continues to evolve, the Federal Government has new opportunities to promote these commitments by engaging with citizens, explaining what Federal agencies are doing, seeking public comments, and improving the delivery of services. In the private sector, it has become standard for commercial websites to use web measurement and customization technologies to engage with members of the public.

For government agencies, the potential benefits of web measurement and customization technologies are clear. With the help of such technologies, agencies will be able to allow users to customize their settings, avoid filling out duplicative information, and navigate websites more quickly and in a way that serves their interests and needs. These technologies will also allow agencies to see what is useful to the public and respond accordingly. Services to customers and users can be significantly improved as a result.

At the same time, OMB is acutely aware of, and sensitive to, the unique privacy questions raised by government uses of such technologies. Any such uses must not compromise or invade personal privacy. It is important to provide clear, firm, and unambiguous protection against any uses that would compromise or invade personal privacy.

This Memorandum establishes new procedures and provides updated guidance and requirements for agency use of web measurement and customization technologies. The central goal is to respect and safeguard the privacy of the American public while also increasing the Federal Government’s ability to serve the public by improving and modernizing its activitiesonline. Any use of such technologies must be respectful of privacy, open, and transparent, and solely for the purposes of improving the Federal Government’s services and activities online.