Facebook Will Now Pay Researchers to Hunt Apps That Misuse Data

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Expect more data breaches

Trying to recover from the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal, Facebook has gone all out on a PR campaign. From a cringe inducing apology to a promise of rethinking privacy tools, the company is now considering to ask help from researchers to hunt down third party apps that misuse user data.

"Facebook's bug bounty program will expand so that people can also report to us if they find misuses of data by app developers," Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships, wrote. "We are beginning work on this and will have more details as we finalize the program updates in the coming weeks."

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Facebook's bug bounty program has so far only focused on technical vulnerabilities. But, in an effort to win back user trust, the program will now incentivize researchers to report app developers who are misusing data. Archibong added that developers who are caught misusing personally identifiable data will be banned from the platform. In his apology, Mark Zuckerberg had also promised that the company will notify users who are affected by apps that have been caught misusing data. The company had failed to alert users when Facebook first discovered Cambridge Analytica having "stolen" user data two years ago.

The announcement comes as a part of the company's review process during which it will audit all the third party apps to see if any other apps managed to take user data in a breach of trust similar to Cambridge Analytica. "We will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform in 2014 to reduce data access, and we are conducting a full audit of any app with suspicious activity," the company said.

If you want to take control of what data Facebook stores on you or what data third party apps can see, head over to this comprehensive guide to stop Facebook from tracking your web activity and third party apps from collecting your information.

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