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How to report invasive Facebook applications and earn rewards

Facebook launched the "Data Abuse Bounty" program, which promises to reward those who report application developers for misuse of data. Inspired by a similar service for identifying bugs and security issues, the idea is for novelty to help identify possible violations of social network policies through an online form.

If an accusation is confirmed, the complainant will receive a remuneration of at least US $ 500 (about R $ 1, 700). The value, however, can be much higher than that, varying according to the impact of each report.

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According to the social network, it is considered abuse when an application collects and transfers data from users to someone who can sell them, steal them or use them for scams or even political influence. According to Collin Greene, Social Network Product Security Leader, all complaints will be cleared and action will be taken as soon as possible if a threat to personal information is proven.

"If we confirm the abuse of data, we will terminate the offending application and take legal action against the company that is selling or purchasing the data if necessary, " Greene explains. "We will pay the person reporting the problem and also alert those we believe they have been affected, "he adds.

Apps connected to Facebook

How the program works

Facebook explains that the complaints go through six stages. Are they:

  1. Identify the malicious app on the platform. It is important to note that a program should not only be reported based on speculation, but rather with real knowledge that an application developer is passing information illegally to another company.
  2. Send the complaint through the Data Abuse Bounty program form.
  3. Examine the prosecution for a potential investigation.
  4. Investigate, if the allegation is considered credible. At this stage, Facebook will contact the whistleblower for more information and details.
  5. Apply the appropriate measure. This could mean removing the app, taking legal action or even a forensic hearing at the location of the company that sells or buys the data. The expected time for a complaint to be investigated varies from three to six months.
  6. Reward the complainant for helping to protect people's information. The minimum amount paid will be $ 500 and there is no limit. However, to be rewarded, at least 10, 000 Facebook users must have been affected by the problem. And, if more than one person reveals the same case, only the first complainant will receive the prize.

How to report

The complaint should be made to Facebook through an online form, available in English only.

Step 1. Log in to your Facebook account, access the "Report an Instance of Data Abuse" form.

Visit the Facebook form to report

Step 2. In "Your Name", fill in with your full name. In the "Application" box, enter the name of the application that is using the user data improperly. Already in "Affected Users", indicate, more or less, the number of people who must have been affected by the program reported.

Fill out the form with the data requested by Facebook

Step 3. Now in "Descriptions", tell us in as much detail as possible what the denounced app developer is doing with user data (eg selling to third parties) and what their motivations are.

Tell Facebook details about the app

Step 4. Finally, in "Type of Data", say what information is being collected: name, email, tanned, images, etc. Complete the process by clicking "Submit". Please be aware that by doing so you will be agreeing to the terms of the "Data Abuse Bounty" program.

Complete the process of submitting the complaint to Facebook

Via Facebook