Reclaim Privacy -- Facebook edition

Matt Pizzimenti, a coder and geek extraordinaire, has developed and launched Reclaim Privacy. The tool is very simple, you drag a bookmark which points to a javascript file hosted on Pizzimenti's site.  Simply log into facebook and click on the new bookmark.  This will launch Pizzimenti's code and scan through your privacy settings revealing settings that may accidentally leak information out to the world.

The script is still in early development.  Here are a list of known issues as of today, May 18, 2010:
  • blocked apps are not detected properly
  • does not scan Photo privacy yet
  • does not scan Wall Post privacy yet
  • the scanner for the dropdown settings is wonky sometimes in Firefox
  • "Re-scan" buttons don't work (need to click the bookmarklet instead)
  • Internet Explorer and Opera are not tested (only Safari 4 and FF3 have been tested)

If you code in javascript or python, check out Pizzimenti's source repository on Github, http://github.com/mjpizz/reclaimprivacy and help contribute!

Now, sadly, Facebook will get wind of this application and most likely block it or send Pizzimenti a cease and desist order as it violates their Terms of Service, just like they did for the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine.  It looks like ReclaimPrivacy started gaining traction about 18 hours ago according to Twitter trending (which, you know, is a solid source of information).  I will be following the tool's progress against the bugs above.

If facebook would like to take a step forward in privacy and user-trust, they should would offer to buy the script and integrate directly into their system, allowing users a quick and easy way to visualize their privacy posture and make changes. 

Big thanks and much respect to Matt Pizzimenti for developing this application.  It's a fantastic tool!