Facebook will now offer financial rewards to people who report bugs and leaks in the platform, said Collin Greene, the company’s head of Product Security, in an official blog post.
Earlier this week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was in Washington to testify at the Senate Intelligence Hearing. The questions posed by the senators, both Democrats and Republicans, focused on the security of the social media platform and how best users could protect their privacy.
Zuckerberg’s hearing came after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The data analytics firm reportedly harvested data of over 80 million Facebook users, which allegedly was used to help President Donald Trump’s election campaign in 2016. Ever since the scandal came to light in February, Facebook has been having a tough time dealing with accusations that the company was responsible for the leak of personal data of millions of users.
To eradicate further leaks, the social media giant last week tweaked its algorithm and made some drastic changes to validate authenticity.
Earlier this week, the company announced the launch of the Data Abuse Bounty to reward Facebook users who report any misuse of data by app developers.
The company reiterated that it’s committed to launching this program as part of its efforts to effectively uncover potential abuse of people’s information. The Data Abuse Bounty, inspired by Facebook’s existing bug bounty program, will help the platform identify violations of its security and privacy policies.
According to Facebook, this program will reward those with first-hand knowledge and proof of cases where a Facebook platform app collects and transfers user data to another party to be sold, stolen, or used for scams or political influence.
“Just like the bug bounty program, we will reward based on the impact of each report,” said Greene.
Facebook says the reward amount for reporting bugs and leaks could go up to $40,000.
The company said it would review all legitimate reports and respond as quickly as possible when a credible threat to user data is identified.
“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,” said Greene.
If Facebook identifies malicious parties or app developers who are leaking or extracting data, it will terminate their apps from the platform. Besides, it will also initiate a forensic audit and take legal action against the parties involved.