A donation-based project called ReclaimPrivacy has launched a browser bookmarklet that checks your Facebook settings for unanticipated changes.
The project is a response to the social network’s continually changing privacy protections. In December, Facebook went through a privacy transition that defaulted content shared by users who had never adjusted their settings to public. It also recently made “likes” and “connections” more public and launched an instant personalization program that shared user data with special partners like Pandora and Yelp to offer more customized and social experiences on other sites.
Both moves raised concerns among privacy watchdogs that the social network was being too aggressive in nudging its users to be more public.
ReclaimPrivacy’s bookmarklet is pretty simple. Go to the project’s site, drag and drop the bookmarklet to your web browser bar. The next time you log into Facebook.com, you can check whether any of your settings have defaulted to public.
ReclaimPrivacy focuses on six primary areas:
- Whether your personal information is restricted to your friends or closer
- Whether your contact information is exposed to the entire Internet
- Whether all of your friends, tags and connections are restricted to you or closer
- Whether your friends can share information about your with external applications or websites
- Whether you’re opted out of Facebook’s new instant personalization program
- Whether you’ve blocked applications that can leak your information.
The creator, Matt Pizzimenti, who is also the co-founder of a customer service startup Olark, says the program doesn’t see your Facebook data or share any of it. To ensure that, he’s made the source code open here.