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Google has announced that it will pay researchers who discover when Android apps and Chrome extensions abuse user data. However, the discoveries must be verifiable and established by conclusive evidence.

According to TechCrunch, the action is part of Google’s broader policy to prevent data abuse. This is to prevent data leak scandals like with Cambridge Analytica at Facebook. In the blog post, Google reports that the Google Play Security Reward Program (GPSRP) will be expanded and the Developer Data Protection Reward Program (DDPRP) will be launched. As far as the GPSRP is concerned, all apps in Google Play with 100 million installations or more will be included. This means that hundreds of new organisations can be helped by security researchers.

“At Google, we understand the power of open platforms and that the best ideas don’t always come from within. That’s why we offer a wide range of reward programs that encourage the community to help us improve safety for everyone,” said the company on Thursday.

DDPRP against data abuse

The DDPRP is completely new, and is aimed at preventing incorrect data use in Android apps, Chrome extensions and Google API. In the blog post, the company states: “In particular, the purpose of the program is to identify situations in which user data is unexpectedly used or sold, or illegally reused or sold without the user’s consent. The program will work in the same way as with GPSRP. This means that reports with certain characteristics receive a certain reward. Google does not yet report which amounts belong to which type of report. However, the blog post states that reports could yield up to 50,000 dollars.

Google has announced that it will take immediate action in the event of reports that turn out to be correct. In such a case, the app or extension in question will be removed from Google Play or Google Chrome Web Store. When it comes to Google API, the users in question will no longer be able to access it.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.