Facebook has taken a lot of flack lately over its default privacy settings, prompting Facebook flight. The social networking website MySpace, which at one time had more users than Facebook, is trying to steal away users by offering them more control over their privacy settings.
A group of New York University students are also trying to capitlize on the anit-Facebook sentiment by developing an open-sourced web application that offers internet users portability and full control of their personal information. The application dubbed, Diaspora, would give allow users to share their personal information with multiple social networking websites.
Whether MySpace will manage to attract Facebook users or Diaspora will provide the portability solution social networking junkies demand, remains to be seen. In the interim, immediate solutions are needed to protect your personal information. Reclaim Privacy (reclaimprivacy.org has been shut down and thus this link no longer works) is an open-source browser-based privacy scanner Facebook users can use to scan their profiles for chinks in the privacy armor.
Reclaim Privacy will scan your Facebook profile and detect whether or not you’ve opted-in to Instant Personalization, assesses what types of information – personal, contacts, tags, friends, etc.., – you have chosen to share within your social circle and the greater world wide web. The scan will also detect what your friends can share about you. High-risk items that require your attention show up as “insecure” red alert buttons and will provide a link to you privacy settings on facebook.
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If you don’t know whether you opted out of the Instant Personalization – the default setting shares your personal information, photos and conversations with friends on the Internet – you might want to check out the privacy scanner.