Facebook asks U.S. banks for financial info to boost user engagement

07 August, 2018, 05:30 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • The social media giant is making the effort amid ongoing concerns about its ability to keep data private

Facebook is asking major US banks for financial data in order to provide more online shopping services and to track consumer spending habits, The Wall Street Journal reported. Specifically, the social media company wants to incorporate its users' financial data into Messenger, allowing them to to check their account balances or watch for fraud alerts.

At a time when Facebook's data management is under intense scrutiny, this news is unlikely to be greeted enthusiastically by customers of those banks called out in the story - JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and U.S. Bancorp.

After all, if a financial institution shares data that is later exposed in a breach, the bank may share the blame in the eyes of regulators.

Wells Fargo declined to comment.

However, concerns over data sharing and privacy have held up talks with at least one bank, sources told the Wall Street Journal. An essential part of these efforts is keeping people's information safe and secure, ' Facebook said in a statement.

"Facebook has talked about a feature that would show its users their checking-account balances, the people said".

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At any rate, according to the WSJ, Facebook is not interested in using any data it would gain from banks for ad-targeting purposes. Per the WSJ's reporting, Facebook also asked for additional data, like where customers are spending their money outside of the social network.

But word Facebook is fishing for financial information comes amid concerns it has not vigilantly guarded private information.

Facebook has been under fire for several scandals involving data privacy, starting with Cambridge Analytica.

In Facebook's worst ever public relations disaster, it admitted that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by Cambridge Analytica, which was working for US President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign.

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