Over the past few weeks Facebook, as well as its founder Mark Zuckerberg, has come under fire from all corners for lax privacy policies. Although, Facebook provides extensive privacy controls, making sense of it is not very simple. Worse still, some aspects like Instant Personalization are by default opt-in. As a result, many users might be caught unawares.
ReclaimPrivacy is a simple cross-browser bookmarklet, which enables you to assess your privacy settings. It scans your Facebook settings and displays a brief report (screenshot below) covering six major areas of concern including instant personalization and visibility level of personal information.
ReclaimPrivacy is a donation driven project started by Matt Pizzimenti. He hit upon the idea while on his flight back from Michigan to the Bay. The scanner doesn’t require Facebook username or password to work and operates entirely within the user’s browser. The source code for the project is available here.
Techie Buzz Verdict
In some ways, it is sad that the world’s largest social network needs a utility like ReclaimPrivacy. It also underscores the amount of distrust spreading among a section of Facebook users. While some pundits believe that most of the people are over reacting, there is no harm in being cautious.
ReclaimPrivacy is ideal for not-so-tech-savvy users as it enables them to make sense of the complicated and confusing Facebook privacy settings. Even better, it can instantly fix potentially troublesome settings. However, ReclaimPrivacy needs better documentation. In some cases it isn’t exactly clear what settings ReclaimPrivacy is changing.
Overall, ReclaimPrivacy is a really well executed idea. Spread the word and make your friends and family members aware of the potential privacy pitfalls of Facebook.
Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)