Blog of Rights

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (3/23/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 2:10pm

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of personal information. The ACLU believes that Americans shouldn’t have to choose between using new technology and keeping control of your private information. Each week, we feature some of the most interesting news related to technology and civil liberties that we’ve spotted from the previous week.

Facebook Considering New Laws And Legal Action Against Employers Asking For Users’ Passwords [Tech Crunch]
"Following up on disturbing reports that some employers are asking applicants to turn over their Facebook usernames and passwords, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer on Policy, Erin Egan, hints that the company is looking into drafting new laws to protect users from violations of their privacy like this."

New counterterrorism guidelines permit data on U.S. citizens to be held longer [Washington Post]
"The Obama administration has approved guidelines that allow counterterrorism officials to lengthen the period of time they retain information about U.S. residents, even if they have no known connection to terrorism."

Maryland and Illinois Introduce Bills to Limit Employer Access to Employees' Social Networking Accounts [Inside Privacy]
"Lawmakers in Maryland and Illinois have introduced bills that would prohibit employers from requiring job applicants or employees to grant access to their social networking accounts."

Researchers find privacy and security holes in Android apps with ads [ars technica]
"A team of researchers at North Carolina State University have found that many of the libraries used in free Android applications to display in-application advertisements also pose a threat to privacy, and can be used by attackers to get past Android security."

What You Need To Know About Facebook's New Privacy Policy [ReadWriteWeb]
"Perhaps the first thing you need to know is that after Friday, Facebook will no longer be calling it a privacy policy. The name is being changed to 'Data Use Policy.'"

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