ACLU: Employers Have No Right to Ask For Facebook Password

Your Facebook password is none of your new boss’ business. That’s what the American Civil Liberties Union is saying after reports that employers are increasingly asking for access to job applicants’ social-media accounts.

“It’s an invasion of privacy for private employers to insist on looking at people’s private Facebook pages as a condition of employment or consideration in an application process,” attorney Catherine Crump said in a statement from the ACLU. “People are entitled to their private lives.”

Recently, multiple cases have come to light in which companies have either asked for passwords to Facebook or required that applicants “friend” people at those companies. An Associated Press report this week highlighted Justin Bassett, a New York statistician who said that, during a job interview, the interviewer pulled up his Facebook page and asked for his password. He said he refused.


The ACLU said it’s found an increasing number of companies with such policies on Facebook. They say it’s more common with public agencies, such as law enforcement. On an ACLU Facebook page Thursday, followers were, not surprisingly, overwhelmingly against the concept: “I consider it a violation of personal privacy,” one user wrote. “Will the next step be to request a key to my house?”

It is technically against Facebook’s Terms of Service to share a password: “You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account,” the agreement reads. In addition to Maryland, lawmakers in Illinois are considering legislation that would ban the practice.

Source: CNN

Image: Press TV

Free Mobile Apps Consume Battery Life Faster

Free mobile apps which use third-party services to display advertising consume considerably more battery life, a new study suggests.

Researchers used a special tool to monitor energy use by several apps on Android and Windows Mobile handsets. Findings suggested that in one case 75% of an app’s energy consumption was spent on powering advertisements. Report author Abhinav Pathak said app makers must take energy optimisation more seriously.

Free applications typically have built-in advertisements so developers can make money without having to charge for the initial app download. Mr Pathak told the BBC that developers should perhaps think twice when utilising third-party advertising and analytics services in their app.


The research, produced by at team at Purdue University in Indiana, USA, looked at popular apps such as Angry Birds and Facebook. Due to restrictions built into Apple’s mobile operating system, the team was unable to run tests on the iPhone. In the case of Angry Birds, research suggested that only 20% of the total energy consumption was used to actually play the game itself. Of the rest, 45% is used finding out your location with which it can serve targeted advertising.

The tests were carried out by running the app over a 3G connection. The results noted that many apps leave connections open for up to 10 seconds after downloading information. In Angry Birds, that brief period – described by researchers as a “3G tail” – accounted for over a quarter of the app’s total energy consumption.

Source: BBC News

Image: Haveeru Online