Cookies and Federal Websites
For those designing websites for US government agencies you should be aware that government policies regarding privacy can affect your website design, especially in the area of cookies.
According to a memorandum sent out by Jacob Lew, the Director of Management and Budget, way back in June 2000 agencies must take care to ensure full adherence with stated privacy policies” in the June 1999 memorandum on “Privacy Policies on Federal Web Sites”. Due to the policies stated in the memorandum “cookies should not be used at Federal web sites, or by contractors when operating web sites on behalf of agencies, unless, in addition to clear and conspicuous notice, the following conditions are met: a compelling need to gather the data on the site; appropriate and publicly disclosed privacy safeguards for handling of information derived from cookies; and personal approval by the head of the agency.”
Note that this consideration is not from a usability point of view but from a legal point of view. So remember: NEVER EVER USE PERSISTENT COOKIES FOR GOVERNMENT SITES.