Facebook launches bounty program for app developers misusing data

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Facebook has announced that it is launching a “data abuse” bounty program to help curtail the misuse of data by app developers. 

The timing of the announcement coincides with Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's appearance before congress to explain how the data of 87m of the social network's users was improperly shared with the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica

Facebook's new bounty program will reward people with first-hand knowledge and evidence that a Facebook platform app has been collecting and transferring user data to another party to be sold, stolen or used for political influence. 

Head of Product Security at Facebook, Colin Greene explained how reports of data misuse would be handled by the company in a blog post, saying: 

“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.”   

The social network's new data abuse bounty program is the first of its kind and hopefully it will encourage other businesses and services to implement similar policies to help protect user data. 

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