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Facebook Will Offer $40,000 Bounty For Evidence Of Data Leaks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Despite its efforts to punish Chris Wylie, the whistleblower who brought the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the attention of the New York Times and the Observer, Facebook unveiled a new program on Tuesday (just hours before CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to appear before lawmakers on Capitol Hill) whereby it will pay up to $40,000 to people who bring large data leaks to the company’s attention.

Payouts for the company’s new data abuse bounty program – which it announced on its platform – would start at $500. It’s the first program of its kind in the industry, CNBC reported.

According to an FAQ posted on Facebook’s website, the program is geared toward ferreting out data leaks and abuses carried out by “third parties” – like, for example, Cambridge Analytica.

Zuck

“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,” Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos told CNBC.

Submissions will be vetted by the company’s bug and data abuse bounty team. The company will also investigate the report and decide what action to take. Repercussions could include shutting down offending apps and suing leakers. Facebook could also opt to conduct an onsite audit of the company buying or selling the data.

Currently Facebook’s “bug bounty” team has about 10 employees – but the company is working on hiring more (Facebook has already hired 15,000 of 20,000 people to fulfill data security roles, the company has said).

To be eligible, the case must involve at least 10,000 Facebook users. Whistleblowers must show data was abused – not just collected. The issue must also be one that Facebook wasn’t previously aware of. Data scrapers, malware, social engineering projects and cases on Facebook’s other platforms like Instagram are not eligible. The company is open to expanding the program down the road.

Facebook first disclosed that it was considering offering a bounty for data abuse complaints last month. Expect to hear some questions about the program during Zuckerberg’s testimony later today. The company has said it is exploring whether its data was abused by other third-party apps – a process that could take up to three years.


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