New 'Friend Verifier' App Scans Facebook Friends for Sex Offende - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

New 'Friend Verifier' App Scans Facebook Friends for Sex Offenders

Posted:
With 1.3 billion people on Facebook, how do you know who's really adding you? The new free app called “Friend Verifier” helps you determine who exactly you or your kids and other loved ones are actually interacting with on Facebook.

"I would definitely download something like this," said Sandy Jirkovsky, a Facebook user as well as parent and grandparent.

In a world where security continues to be a risk, this new app helps Facebook users feel a little more at ease about who they're connecting with.

"What it does is it will actually compare your friend's list with a national database of known sex offenders,” said Colin Harris, with Best Buy.

Without archiving your personal information, “Friend Verifier” scans your list of friends using names, ages and addresses.  With that data, it lists matches marked in different colors. Yellow matches mean just the name is recognized, probably not an exact match. Orange matches connect with name and age, but a red match means name, age and location are recognized.

"If it does actually meet more than one specification,” said Harris, “then you can actually check it out and see if that person is a registered sex offender in your area and get an actual photo of that person."

The app's creator Joe Penora says the inspiration for the tool started with Myspace, the first hybrid site between social media and a dating website. But the filters weren't very secure. He says his focus is always consumer security.

"We don't harvest any information,” said Penora, who created the app two years ago. “We don't take your information and sell it or anything like that. Your information is yours. We don't even track what friends of yours actually have an orange or a red match."

Penora says Wednesday the app reached eight million people scanned, six million people scanned since May. Looking to the future, he hopes to create the same app for other platforms, like Twitter and Four Square  

"I think it's of a very important safety feature,” said Jirkovsky, “I don't think we can be safe enough. In today's ag, there's too many predators out there and I think anything we can do to help that is a plus."