The popular anti-virus company AVG today announced it is moving into the social networking era with a new service called CrowdSource, which is geared towards protecting your privacy on Facebook. The app is built using the social giant's API and went live today at facebook.com/avg. Since everyone seems rather concerned about privacy these days, the app is generating some attention.
To get started you can click the small box on the page cited above or head straight to the app page. A word of warning, for a "privacy service", AVG asks for an awful lot -- "AVG PrivacyFix will receive the following info: your public profile, friend list, custom friends lists, News Feed, relationships, notes, work history, status updates, education history, hometown, current city, photos, likes and your friends' notes, work histories, status updates, education histories, hometowns, current cities, photos and likes".
CrowdControl scans your Facebook profile and organizes your friends based on who they interact with most. Clicking on any friend's image marks them to be excluded from this custom list. You need to choose who sees your posts and, by default, everyone is enabled (denoted by little green boxes with white check marks).
With that out of the way, there are a couple of options to OK and then, of course, a plea to share the app with all of your friends.The process is fairly simple and fast.
AVG CrowdControl doesn't pop up a bunch of warning messages, or at least has not done so as of yet, but it only came out today. Setup is quick, and the app doesn't get in the way when using Facebook. However, it is also rather hard to see exactly what it is doing -- both for your protection and in the background. That leaves the creepy feeling, perhaps unfounded, that it is more about harvesting data than about your well-being on the web.