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By Krishnan Subramanian on May 17, 2010
I have been critical of Facebook’s privacy policies in this blog. In my opinion, Facebook has really gone rogue. They give a damn to users just like what Microsoft did during the time it had monopoly like power in the market. Having said that the movement to delete Facebook accounts is at best hysterical. I think we should have a more pragmatic approach than the emotional approach of deleting the Facebook account in protest. At least, from my point of view, I am not going to delete my account even though I am terribly upset about Facebook’s attitude. I have my entire family and most of my friends in there and I cannot afford to delete my Facebook account (at least at this time). I am more inclined to take a pragmatic approach, continue to voice my protest through Facebook and other online forums and take steps to protect my privacy as much as I can.
Now, there is an option. The good folks at ReclaimPrivacy.org has released a bookmarklet that helps you tighten your privacy in Facebook. It is a scanner that scans your Facebook account to inspect your privacy settings and warn you about settings that might be unexpectedly public. All you have to do is to drag the bookmarklet to your browser toolbar, log into your Facebook account and click the bookmarklet you just installed. It scans and tells you if your privacy is good. If not, it gives you an option to fix it with a click. A pretty nifty tool that can help people like me who still want to stay in Facebook but maintain a level of privacy.
I wish these folks had put up a nice “About” section giving background on the effort. It would have given more confidence to non technical users (well, there are more than 450 Million of them in Facebook) who want to use the tool for fixing the Facebook privacy issues. Technical users can see that it is an open source tool with source code available. This is good enough to assure us that we can trust the tool. Anyhow, if you are worried about the privacy of your Facebook account, I strongly urge you to use this tool to fix it.
Disclaimer: It is a publicly available open source tool which I used to fix the privacy issues in my account. Your mileage may vary and I am not responsible for anything that happens with the use of the tool. As a blogger, I am writing about a tool that could potentially help Millions of Facebook users. Check out the Techmeme discussion about this tool.