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Facebook launches Data Abuse Bounty program

Facebook is launching the Data Abuse Bounty to reward people who report any misuse of data by app developers.

They committed to launching this program a few weeks ago as part of efforts to more quickly uncover potential abuse of people’s information. 

The Data Abuse Bounty, inspired by the existing bug bounty program that’s used to uncover and address security issues, will help Facebook identify violations of their policies.

This program will reward people with first-hand knowledge and proof of cases where a Facebook platform app collects and transfers people’s data to another party to be sold, stolen or used for scams or political influence. 

Just like the bug bounty program, Facebook will reward based on the impact of each report. 

While there is no maximum, high impact bug reports have garnered as much as $40,000 for people who bring them to Facebook’s attention.

Facebook head of product security Collin Greene says, “We’ll review all legitimate reports and respond as quickly as possible when we identify a credible threat to people’s information. 

“If we confirm data abuse, we will shut down the offending app and take legal action against the company selling or buying the data, if necessary.”

“We’ll pay the person who reported the issue, and we’ll also alert those we believe to be affected.”

Proof comes in two stages. The initial stage should be first-hand knowledge of the situation the user wants to report. 

If it sounds credible Facebook will ask for more proof to help the investigation. 

This could include Facebook data such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) being abused, emails, contracts, or company names.

This program is the first of its kind so it will change as Facebook gets feedback.

This is just another step Facebook has taken to attempt to regain user trust after the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

The company has been in deep waters with both users and lawmakers after it was revealed that 87 million user accounts might have been compromised. 

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