Web Analytics Privacy Impact Assessment Report

For Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Information and Privacy Policy Division

Table of Contents

Abbreviations Used in This PIA Report

IP:
Internet Protocol
ISP:
Internet service provider
PIA:
Privacy Impact Assessment
TBS:
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

The Appendix contains a glossary of terms.

Executive Summary

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) commissioned this Web Analytics Privacy Impact Assessment Report (PIA Report) on the use of Web analytics by federal government institutions. The objective of this PIA Report was to determine whether there are privacy risks associated with the use of Web analytics and, if so, to provide recommendations to mitigate or eliminate such risks. This PIA Report makes five recommendations, listed below, all of which have been accepted by TBS.

Recommendations

Recommendation 1: That a clear explanation of the use of Web analytics must be included in the notification on the institutional website under "Important Notices" and "Privacy Notice." A revised sample Privacy Notice for the use of Web analytics should be developed by the Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, for institutions to use or modify as appropriate.

Recommendation 2: That it may be an opportune time for the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to review its policy guidance on the use of cookies.

Recommendation 3: That profiling of an individual's Web usage for the purposes of Web analytics within an institution or among or between institutions be expressly prohibited by way of Treasury Board policy.

Recommendation 4: That the Information and Privacy Policy Division, Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, develop policy that sets out requirements for institutions to ensure privacy protection, whether Web analytics is being deployed internally on institutional servers or externally on third-party servers. There is a need for a contract or agreement with those third parties that provide Web analytics services to the Government of Canada. As an immediate mitigation measure where no contract or agreement is in place, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat should instruct institutions that use Web analytic tools on third-party-hosted servers to turn the anonymization feature on so that IP addresses are depersonalized.

Recommendation 5: That the Information and Privacy Policy Division, Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, provide guidance to institutions on the retention period for IP addresses and associated personal information in the context of Web analytics. Recommended retention periods are 18 months in the case of information that is collected and used when Web analytics tools are internally hosted, and 6 months when the information is disclosed to a third party for externally hosted Web analytics.

1. Introduction

For the purposes of this PIA Report, Web analytics can be described as the collection, analysis, measurement and reporting of Web traffic and visitor behavior in order to understand and optimize Web usage.Footnote 1 As part of Web analytics, personal information may be collected in the form of an Internet Protocol (IP) address. An IP address can be considered personal information if it can be associated with an identifiable individual.Footnote 2 The collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of personal information by a Government of Canada institution are subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act.

This PIA Report has been compiled according to the Government of Canada Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment and is intended to serve government institutions that use Web analytics for their websites. This PIA Report is also intended to serve the TBS-led Web review. The scope of this PIA Report covers the collection (via the Internet), use, disclosure, retention and disposal of personal information by institutions for Web analytics. This PIA Report does not cover IP addresses collected for other purposes such as security. It also does not cover the use of Web analytics on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

The practices set out in this PIA Report can be leveraged by a Government of Canada institution if the practices or assumptions made in this PIA Report align with the actual implementation and deployment of Web analytics in that institution.

2. Web Analytics

2.1 Background

Web analytics involves collecting and analyzing data pertaining to visitor experience on websites. Such data includes the user's IP address and other data such as the following:

  • User's browser type;
  • Web pages visited;
  • Time and date;
  • Time spent on a Web page or pages; and
  • Return visits within a period of time.

Most Web analytics tools use digital markers such as cookies that are set on the user's browser to track, for example, the number of visits and the number of unique visitors to one or more websites.

Many institutions that operate a website use Web analytics software to obtain usage information to help improve their websites in order to better meet the needs of their users and deliver the best online service possible. There are two common varieties of Web analytics: log file parsing and page tagging.

Log File Parsing

Web servers collect data, such as that identified above, about visits to a website in log files. These are called Web server logs. Every time a visitor enters the website, an entry is recorded in the log file. Every time a link is clicked, an entry is recorded in the log file. The Web server log provides a history of every click that occurs on the site.

In its raw form, the log file is a big text file. Web analytics software slices up the log file into discrete pieces of meaningful information and stores this in a database. Once the information is in the database, the software is able to analyze it to identify patterns in the data and generate reports. The process of slicing up a text file into meaningful chunks of information is called parsing. With these pieces of information, the Web analytics software is able to calculate information about website visitors and their activity on the website.

Page Tagging

With page tagging, an institution identifies all the actions on the website that are to be measured. The institution then puts a small piece of programming code (usually JavaScript) on every page where those actions occur in order to track the visitor's usage. This is called tagging the page. When an identified action occurs, the tag will send a message to the Web analytics software, recording the action in a database. As with log file parsing, analytics is then performed on information in the database to report on key site metrics.

There are many vendors that provide Web analytics software and services. As well, institutions may deploy Web analytics services in-house. Some examples of available Web analytical software applications are as follows:

  • Google Analytics is a hosted Web analytics solution where Web usage data is collected from the user's browser and stored on a third-party server owned and managed by Google. These servers are located primarily in the United States.
  • WebLog Expert, Webtrends, AWStats and institutional custom-developed analytics packages can be used both in-house and through a third party.
  • Twitter Web Analytics and similar applications specifically measure social media. Web analytics for social media is not within the scope of this PIA Report.

Web analytics is used by institutions for many purposes, including the following:

  • To determine Web traffic metrics for an institution's website;
  • To inform the institution of the usage and relevance of its content;
  • To provide data for reducing ROT (redundant, outdated and trivial content) and to facilitate the implementation of the TBS Standard on Web Accessibility;
  • To help determine which websites and online applications require further investment, and to determine where costs can be reduced by removing content and streamlining operations; and
  • To measure access to an institution's products such as publications and statistical data.

In order to effectively carry out Web analytics, the IP address must be collected and used. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has determined that an IP address can be considered personal information within the meaning of section 3 of the Privacy Act if it can be associated with an identifiable individual. For example, in one complaint finding of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner,Footnote3 it was determined that some of the IP addresses that an Internet service provider (ISP) was collecting constituted personal information because the ISP could link the IP addresses to its customers through its subscriber IDs.

Given that the IP address can, in some circumstances, be linked to an identifiable visitor, particularly in combination with other data collected during a visitor's website interactions, the Government of Canada should err on the side of caution and adopt privacy protective measures to safeguard IP addresses in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act.

2.2 Data Flow Process

Government institutions deploy Web analytics tools in two ways: hosted in-house on Government of Canada servers and hosted externally on third-party servers. The data flow process will vary depending on the nature of the deployment.

Web Analytics Tools Deployed Within an Institution

Some government institutions deploy Web analytics tools on institutional servers, with no data being disclosed or transmitted outside the Government of Canada firewall.

Although specifics vary depending on which Web analytics tool is to be used, the following provides a general overview of the process involved:

  • A visitor operating a computer requests the Web page of an institution. Visitors will use Web browsers such as Safari and Internet Explorer to request a page from a Government of Canada Web server, and the server responds by sending the requested page.
  • As the visitor accesses the Web page or pages, information such as the IP address, the visitor's browser type, and the date and time the Web page was downloaded are sent to the institutional server.
  • For institutions that use a digital marker such as cookies (small text files sent to the visitor's Web browser), cookies are set on the visitor's browser to obtain visitor session information from the Web page request.
  • The data collected for Web analytics is stored on institutional servers, and software is used to analyze the data and produce Web analytics reports.
  • There is currently no fixed retention period for this data.

Some institutions perform analytics using data from Web server logs; others use page tagging or some combination thereof. Regardless of which technology is used, the data is kept on Government of Canada servers and is not disclosed outside the Government of Canada firewall.

Government institutions do not link IP addresses with the identity of individuals who visit their websites except, if needed, for the purposes of protecting the security of those websites.

Web Analytics Tools Deployed Outside the Government of Canada Firewall

Many institutions deploy Web analytics tools outside the Government of Canada environment. Data is disclosed to a third-party service provider that collects and stores the data on its server. Third-party software is then used to perform the analytics and generate reports for the institution. An overview of the process involved when these tools are deployed is set out in the following steps.Footnote 4

  • Step 1. The government institution inserts JavaScript code provided by the service provider on each of its Web pages that it wants tracked.
  • Step 2. When a visitor's browser requests a Web page that has a tracking code, that code refers to a JavaScript file that executes the tracking operation for analytics. Data that is automatically disclosed or transferred to the third party via this process includes IP addresses, which is used to determine geographic location, the visitor's browser type, and the date and time the page was downloaded.
  • Step 3. Many third parties also set and read a cookie on the visitor's Web browser to obtain visitor session information from the Web page request.
  • Step 4. The data is collected and sent to the third-party server to be stored and processed for the purpose of Web analytics.

Some third-party service providers that host Web analytics on their servers have an anonymization feature that can be activated by the website's owner (in this case, the Government of Canada). In the case of Google Analytics, for example, when the feature is activated, Google depersonalizes the IP addresses before storage. In the case of IPv4, which is currently used by the Government of Canada, the last octet of IP addresses is set to "0." In the case of IPv6, which will eventually replace the current version of the IP addresses, the last 80 bits of IP addresses are set to "0."Footnote 5

3. Privacy Analysis

The following privacy analysis is conducted using the 10 privacy principles of the CSA Group's (Canadian Standards Association's) Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information

3.1 Legislation

The Privacy Act requires that institutions have parliamentary authority for a program or activity in order to collect personal information.Footnote 6 All institutions must have authority for administering the programs or services they establish. This authority may come from, for example, a departmental statute, letters patent, other incorporating documents or a parliamentary appropriation.

3.2 Principle 1: Accountability for Personal Information

Principle: A government institution is responsible for personal information under its control and shall designate an individual or individuals who are accountable for the organization's compliance with privacy legislative and policy requirements. A government institution is also responsible for personal information under its control that is transferred to a third party.

Pursuant to paragraph 71(1)(d) of the Privacy Act, the President of the Treasury Board has the authority to issue policy directives and guidance to government institutions concerning the operation of the Act. TBS has developed a suite of policies that sets out the roles and responsibilities of heads of government institutions or their delegates under the Privacy Act. This policy suite includes the Policy on Privacy Protection and the Directive on Privacy Practices.

It is important to note that a website visitor's IP address, when used for Web analytics, will not be used for an administrative purpose.Footnote 7 The retention period should therefore be shorter than the prescribed two years for an administrative purpose or, at a minimum, a retention period that is no longer than two years. Because privacy risks are greater when the IP address and other information is disclosed to a third party, consideration could be given to a shorter retention period for third-party externally hosted Web analytics.

It is important that IP addresses are not available for reuse at a later time for an administrative purpose.

The Treasury Board's Policy on Privacy Protection requires that heads of government institutions or their delegates are responsible for the following:

6.2.15 Establishing a privacy protocol within the government institution for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information for non-administrative purposes, including research, statistical, audit and evaluation purposes.

Institutions are expected to have privacy protocols in place for non-administrative purposes. The collection of IP addresses along with other data elements for the purpose of Web analytics would be covered by the privacy protocol. Under the Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment, institutions must undertake privacy impact assessments as opposed to relying only on privacy protocols.

No privacy issues were identified for accountability.

3.3 Principle 2: Identifying Purposes for Collecting Personal Information

Principle: The purposes for which personal information is collected shall be identified and documented by the government institution at or before the time the information is collected. The purposes should be specified publicly. This can be done using Info Source and the Privacy Notice on the institution's website.

The Directive on Privacy Practices states the following about the Privacy Notice:

6.2.9 Notifying the individual whose personal information is collected directly of the following:

  • The purpose and authority for the collection;
  • Any uses or disclosures that are consistent with the original purpose;
  • Any uses or disclosures that are not related to the original purpose;
  • Any legal or administrative consequences for refusing to provide the personal information; and
  • The rights of access to, correction of and protection of personal information under the Privacy Act.

6.2.10 Adapting the privacy notice for either written or verbal communication at the time of collection. Written notices are to include a reference to the [Personal Information Bank] described in Info Source.

For the purposes of Web analytics, the use of such analytics must be added to the notification on the institutional website under "Important Notices" and "Privacy Notice."

Recommendation 1: That a clear explanation of the use of Web analytics must be included in the notification on the institutional website under "Important Notices" and "Privacy Notice." A revised sample Privacy Notice for the use of Web analytics should be developed by the Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, for institutions to use or modify as appropriate.

TBS accepts this recommendation.

3.4 Principle 3: Consent

Principle: Consent is central to privacy, and under the Privacy Act,the general applicable principle of consent applies to disclosures. That said, Government of Canada institutions generally have legislative authority to collect personal information for multiple purposes related to their institutional mandates, including improved service delivery and access to information available on Government of Canada websites. Institutions can subsequently disclose personal information without consent pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(a) of the Privacy Act for the purpose for which the information was obtained or compiled by the institution or for a use consistent with that purpose.

TBS, in collaboration with Privy Council Office's New Media, considered whether "opting out" was a viable option in deploying Web analytics tools. The conclusion was that this is not feasible given the way in which the Internet and Web analytics tools operate. Web servers automatically collect certain information about website visits, including the visitor's IP address, when the visitor accesses the website. In those cases where the institution subsequently discloses the IP address and other information to a third party to perform Web analytics services, the disclosure happens automatically if a website page is tagged with, for instance, JavaScript. If an "opt out" were to be provided, visitors who do not consent to the disclosure of information to a third party would have to be able to access the website information in its entirety in some way other than via the Internet, which is unrealistic.

In any event, in the case of the disclosure of personal information for the purpose of Web analytics, because the disclosure is for a purpose directly related to the purpose for which the information was originally obtained or compiled, the disclosure is being done in accordance with paragraph 8(2)(a) of the Privacy Act.Consent is therefore not required.

No privacy issues were identified for consent.

3.5 Principle 4: Limiting the Collection of Personal Information

Principle: The collection of personal information is to be limited to that which is necessary for the purposes of use identified by the institution. Information shall be collected by fair and lawful means.

The IP address is collected along with other data such as Government of Canada websites visited and time spent on a site. As already indicated, cookies and other digital markers may be used to track the number of visits and number of unique visitors to a website. The use of third-party cookies, in particular, can raise privacy concerns because the transactions typically involve unknown third parties and are conducted without the website user's knowledge or consent. These privacy concerns may be evidenced in the following ways:

  • Sharing cookie information collected on one website with another third-party website via third-party cookies;Footnote 8
  • Identifying anonymous visitors, either by using data from a third-party cookie where personal information was entered or backfilling data on previous visits when a visitor later creates an account or makes a purchase; and
  • Tracking visitors even though they have set their browser privacy settings to block tracking cookies.

As part of the contract requirements for the third-party provision of Web analytics services, a recommendation is made in section 3.6 of this PIA Report to limit the use of cookies by institutions to first-party cookies only.

Recommendation 2: That it may be an opportune time for the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to review its policy guidance on the use of cookies.

TBS accepts this recommendation and will update its policy guidance on the use of cookies.

3.6 Principle 5: Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention of Personal Information

Principle: Personal information shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected or for uses consistent with those purposes, except with the consent of the individual or as required by law.

Use

The collection of IP addresses and other data in the context of Web analytics is intended for a specific use: to establish performance metrics and measure the effectiveness of Government of Canada websites in an overall effort to improve public access and service delivery to Canadians. As indicated earlier, this use is communicated to the public through various means, including the publication of Info Source and of Privacy Notices on institutional websites.

Possible profiling of individual online behavior is a risk when collecting the IP address in combination with other data.

Recommendation 3: That profiling of an individual's Web usage for the purposes of Web analytics within an institution or among or between institutions be expressly prohibited by way of Treasury Board policy.

TBS accepts this recommendation and has clearly prohibited profiling in its policy instruments.

Disclosure

Personal information collected for the purpose of Web analytics is disclosed only when Web analytics is deployed using the services of an external third-party service provider. As previously indicated, the Privacy Act provides that personal information may be disclosed without the individual's consent for the purpose for which it was collected or for a consistent purpose pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(a).

The third-party service provider should be providing Web analytics services to the institution under the terms of a contract or agreement that has strict language to protect privacy, as this will significantly reduce privacy risks. For example, the terms of the contract or agreement should specify that the IP address be "anonymized" at the time of, or immediately after, the disclosure to a third-party service provider for the purpose of Web analytics. The contract must also specify that the originating IP address is irrevocably destroyed by the third-party service provider. Possible exposure to, for example, the USA Patriot Act is therefore negligible from a privacy perspective because the only information retained by the third party would be "de-identified." In other words, only an anonymized IP address would exist.

A government institution is responsible for personal information under its control that is transferred to a third party for processing. An institution uses an agreement or contract with the third party to convey the appropriate privacy protection requirements. This requirement is pursuant to section 6.2.10 of the Treasury Board's Policy on Privacy Protection. Institutions should also be guided by TBS's Guidance Document: Taking Privacy into Account Before Making Contracting Decisions. Institutions may be using the services of a third party to provide Web analytics. Contracts for Web analytics services should be in place and should contain the following provisions for privacy protection if personal information is provided to the third party:

  • A definition of the term "personal information" that is consistent with section 3 of the Privacy Act;
  • A third-party contact for the purpose of privacy requirements;
  • A requirement that the third party depersonalize the full IP address prior to its storage. This must be done through irrevocable truncation of the last octet of the IP address or through any other depersonalization techniques or methodologies approved by the Government of Canada;
  • A requirement to provide all of the third party's employees or contractors with information on their privacy obligations when dealing with the institution's data;
  • A requirement that the third party not link, or attempt to link, the full or remaining IP address or any unique identifiers associated with, for example, the use of cookies or with the identity of the individual computer user;
  • A requirement that any personal information transmitted to the third party be used only in accordance with the work to be performed under the contract and that no subsequent uses of such information for another purpose be allowed, unless authorized by the institution;
  • A requirement that the third party not disclose or transfer any personal information such as the IP address except:
    • In accordance with the work being performed under the contract, with the prior written approval of the institution; or
    • If required to do so by law;
  • A stipulated retention period for the personal information and all other data in addition to a requirement for a secure method of disposal, including any and all backup copies;
  • An audit requirement to provide the institution, on an optional basis, with an opportunity to determine whether the contractual privacy requirements have been implemented and adhered to;
  • A requirement that the third party have security in place for the personal information and all other data that is at least commensurate with the Government of Canada's Security Policy;
  • A requirement that the personal information will not be used for the profiling of individuals between or across multiple institutions; and
  • A requirement that the third party use only first-party cookies.

Where institutions do not have contracts in place, a mitigating measure would be to require that institutions turn on the third-party anonymization feature that depersonalizes the IP address before storage by the third party.

In addition, when using a third-party service provider for Web analytics, an institution should review the provider's privacy policy to determine whether there are any lapses in privacy requirements that need to be addressed in the contract with the third party.

Recommendation 4: That the Information and Privacy Policy Division, Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, develop policy setting out requirements for institutions to ensure privacy protection, whether Web analytics is being deployed internally on institutional servers or externally on third-party servers. There is need for a contract or agreement with those third parties that provide Web analytics services to the Government of Canada.

As an immediate mitigation measure where no contract or agreement is in place, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat should instruct institutions that use Web analytic tools on third-party-hosted servers to turn the anonymization feature on so that the IP addresses are depersonalized.

TBS accepts this recommendation and will consider the issuance of a standard on privacy and Web analytics. TBS has already instructed institutions that use Web analytic tools on third-party-hosted servers to turn on the third-party anonymization feature.

Retention and Disposal

Under section 4 of the Privacy Regulations, personal information that is used for an administrative purpose is to be retained for two years (or longer if an access request is filed by the individual). In this case and as previously indicated, there is no requirement to retain the data collected for Web analytics purposes for two years because this personal information is not used for an administrative purpose. In other words, an institution is not making a decision about an individual that directly or indirectly affects that individual. Therefore, this personal information is not subject to the retention and disposal requirements in subsection 6(3) of the Privacy Act and section 4 of the Privacy Regulations.

If, however, the IP address is to be retained, guidance on a retention period (and disposition) should be developed by TBS in collaboration with Library and Archives Canada.

Recommendation 5: That the Information and Privacy Policy Division, Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, provide guidance to institutions on the retention period for IP addresses and associated personal information in the context of Web analytics. Recommended retention periods are 18 months in the case of information that is collected and used when Web analytic tools are internally hosted, and 6 months when the information is disclosed to a third party for externally hosted Web analytics.

TBS accepts this recommendation, and the forthcoming standard on privacy and Web analytics will set out the recommended retention periods for the use of the IP address behind the Government of Canada firewall and when that IP address can be disclosed to third parties.

3.7 Principle 6: Accuracy of Personal Information

Principle: Personal information shall be as accurate, complete and up to date as necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used.

The requirement for accuracy of personal information as set out in section 6(2) of the Privacy Act applies to personal information used for an administrative purpose. For the purposes of Web analytics, IP addresses and related digital markers are not used for an administrative purpose; therefore, this requirement does not apply.

No privacy issues were identified for accuracy.

3.8 Principle 7: Safeguards for Personal Information

Principle: Personal information shall be protected by security safeguards that are appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.

IP addresses and other information collected in relation to Web analytics may be sensitive and should be protected accordingly.

3.9 Principle 8: Openness About the Management of Personal Information

Principle: Institutions shall make readily available to individuals specific information about policies and practices relating to the management of personal information in a transparent manner.

For the purposes of Web analytics, information should be made available under the "Important Notices" and "Privacy Notice" section of the institutional website as set out in section 3.3 of this PIA Report.

No privacy issues were identified for openness.

3.10 Principle 9: Individual Access to and Amendment of Personal Information

Principle: On request, an individual shall be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of their personal information and shall be given access to that information.

The Privacy Act provides individuals with a right of access to, and correction of, their own personal information maintained by institutions. Institutional websites and Info Source contain information for individuals on the type of personal information collected, for what purpose, and how to request access to personal information.

No privacy issues were identified for individual access to and amendment of personal information.

3.11 Principle 10: Complaints About the Handling of Personal Information

Principle: An individual shall be able to address a challenge concerning the privacy management practices of an institution to a designated individual in the institution.

Institutional websites and Info Source contain information for individuals on how to address a challenge to an institution's privacy management practices.

No privacy issues were identified for complaints.

4. Longer-Term Vision

One option that the Government of Canada is exploring is the development of a whole-of-government solution that would use an enterprise-wide tool for Web analytics. The Government of Canada would have to ensure that any such tool conforms to policy requirements that might be issued for privacy and Web analytics.

5. Privacy Assessment Summary and Conclusion

Canadians live in a world of data. Many individuals do not realize how much information about them is collected by websites and used as a corporate asset. Government of Canada institutions are accountable under the Privacy Act for their collection, use, disclosure and ultimate management of personal information, including personal information collected for Web analytics.

This PIA Report covers the collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of personal information by institutions for Web analytics. The five recommendations set out in the executive summary are made to mitigate potential privacy risks associated with the use of IP addresses and other digital marker information. These recommendations have been accepted by TBS and will help ensure that appropriate privacy requirements for Web analytics are communicated to institutions across the Government of Canada in order to assist them in fulfilling their obligations under the Privacy Act.

Appendix: Glossary of Terms

Cookie:
Computer text file sent to a visitor's Web browser (the software used to access the Internet) by a Web server (the computer that hosts the website) in order to remember certain pieces of information. Footnote 9
Digital markers:
Mechanisms such as cookies used to remember a visitor's online interactions with a Web website(s). These mechanisms may be used to record a visitor's online interactions within a single session or visit, or to record a visitor's online interactions through multiple sessions or visits.
First-party cookie:
A cookie set with the same domain (or its subdomain) on a browser's address bar.
Internet Protocol (IP) address:
A numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer and printer) participating in a computer network that uses the IP for communication.
Internet service provider:
An organization that provides access to the Internet.
Persistent cookie:
A cookie that stores data in the browser's hard drive and remains until the cookie's expiry date.
Privacy protocol for non-administrative purposes:
A requirement of the TBS Treasury Board's Policy on Privacy Protection. Government institutions are required to establish a privacy protocol for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information for non-administrative purposes, including research, statistical, audit and evaluation purposes.
Session cookie:
A cookie that stores data only for the length of time the browser is connected to a website.
Third-party cookie:
A cookie being set with a different domain from the one shown in the address bar.
Web analytics:
The collection, analysis, measurement and reporting of Web traffic and user behavior for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage.
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