Amid Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook launches Data Abuse Bounty program

In light of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, Facebook this week launched a bounty program to reward people who report misuse of data by developers and services integrated with the social network.

The Data Abuse Bounty, inspired by the company’s existing bug bounty program, is part of Facebook’s effort “to more quickly uncover potential abuse of people’s information [and] identify violations of our policies.”

The program will reward people who present “first-hand knowledge and proof of cases” where people’s data is transferred to a third party to be sold or used for illicit purposes, or for political influence.

“Just like the bug bounty program, we 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 our attention,” Facebook said.

The social network pledges to review all “legitimate” reports and provide feedback as soon as possible if the reported threat is “credible,” the social network said.

“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,” it said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the US Senate yesterday to shed more light on how his company handed the profiles of 87 million people to data-mining company Cambridge Analytica. During the hours-long testimony, Zuckerberg said Facebook believed Cambridge Analytica deleted user data.

As reported by The Guardian, when asked why Facebook had not contacted the US Federal Trade Commission about the data harvesting, Zuckerberg said Cambridge Analytica had told them “they weren’t using the data and deleted it – we considered it a closed case.”

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