Facebook launched the Data Abuse Bounty program, which is offering a reward of up to $40,000 for anybody who will be able to catch data thieves such as Cambridge Analytica.
The introduction of the program comes at an interesting time for Facebook, as the social network and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks to win back the trust of users.
Facebook Data Abuse Bounty Program: Here Are The Details
There have been previous Facebook bounty programs, but they focused on bugs and glitches on the social network. This time, the bounty will be placed on apps and companies that compromise Facebook data privacy, which is a first of its kind in the industry.
"It will help us find the cases of data abuse not tied to security vulnerability ... This will cover both hemispheres, and help surface more cases like Cambridge Analytica so we can know about it first and take action," said chief security officer of Facebook Alex Stamos.
According to the official FAQ of the Data Abuse Bounty program, users are being invited to help the social network identify malicious apps and companies that are collecting and abusing Facebook data. Users who believe that they have found such an offender may submit a report through the Data Abuse Bounty form, which Facebook will then study and potentially escalate into a full-blown investigation. If the app is found guilty, Facebook will enforce a corresponding punishment and then reward the user who sent in the report.
Facebook, however, clarified that it will be looking not just for collection of data from Facebook users, which may be done legitimately, but rather the selling, stealing, or transferring of such data without authorization from Facebook and its users.
Facebook said that the minimum reward for reports that are proven true is $500. However, depending on other factors such as the impact of the data breach and the number of victims, the Data Abuse Bounty program may pay out up to $40,000, which is the largest bounty that Facebook has ever paid.
Facebook Data Breach And Cambridge Analytica Scandal
The launch of the Data Abuse Bounty program comes at an interesting time for Facebook.
The program arrives after the social network started rolling out notifications to the News Feeds of users that informs them if their profile is included in the stolen Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica.
The program, meanwhile, was announced just before Zuckerberg testified before Congress in front of 44 senators. Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook did not do enough to protect users from data thieves such as Cambridge Analytica.