CES 2014: AVG uses Facebook social graph for innovative privacy app

Launches on the hardware side of things may have kept us most occupied here at CES, but that’s not to say we haven’t witnessed some intriguing software innovation too.

Playing its part in that has been security firm AVG, who have this week unveiled its PrivacyFix Family application which promises to keep families connected and safe while keeping their data secure on Facebook.

The most interesting aspect of the launch is AVG’s use of Facebook social graph which broke cover a year ago. The feature harvests the social network’s vast data reserves to provide users and third parties with in-depth intelligence, and AVG claims it is the first company to use the feature for a privacy application.

AVG's system enables users to share Facebook privacy setting with each other even if they are not friends. Pegged for a full launch in the Facebook App Center later this year, PrivacyFix Family intends to keep the family unit connected and protected from snoopers and troublesome users. AVG claims the app will also encourage Facebookers not to ‘overshare’ and become targets for online miscreants using social profiling.

Following a year when privacy was rarely out of the technology headlines, AVG believes the timing of PrivacyFix Family will boost its popularity.

“Thanks to last year’s high profile PRISM and NSA news stories, privacy is higher in the public consciousness than ever before – in fact, according to our latest research, 47 per cent of people admitted that the news had led to them being more concerned about privacy,” says Jim Brock, VP of privacy products at AVG.

“This is particularly true in today’s over-sharing social media age. AVG PrivacyFix Family is the first privacy application that uses Facebook's social graph to make Facebook a more secure and private place for families. With 58 per cent of parents we spoke to advising that they felt uncomfortable about their children sharing personal information online, we're giving parents and children the guidance they need to make better privacy decisions on Facebook together in an easy and quick manner.”