Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Facebook Wants Banks to Hand Over Your Financial Information

Facebook Wants Banks to Hand Over Your Financial Information

For now at least, users have to opt-in to link it to their bank account - a partnership with banks might link users directly to their banks (no word on whether Messenger users would need to opt-in to the service).

Facebook has asked major banks to share financial information about their customers, such as card transactions and account balances, as it considers launching new financial products.

Highlighting the fact that "Facebook has been a cesspool of privacy issues for quite a while", technology writer Curtis Silver argued in a piece for Forbes on Monday that it's time to "quit Facebook before it inevitably accesses your banking data".

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Facebook, which is trying to deepen user engagement, has asked JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N) and U.S. Bancorp (USB.N) to discuss potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger, the newspaper reported.

The company, however, clarified that it would not use the bank data for ad-targeting purposes or share it with third parties.

Among the "features" Facebook is reportedly looking to create if it successfully obtains financial data is a tool that would "show its users their checking-account balances", the Journal reported. Google and Amazon have reportedly also sought similar arrangements, exchanging user data for the banks' integration with the tech companies' massive platforms.

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Facebook is now facing multiple investigations related to its ties to Cambridge Analytica, the political analytics company that accessed data on up to 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

"We're not shoring up financial data", she added. A cell phone can receive text-message fraud alerts, and anyone responsible already regularly looks at their bank accounts on a computer or via a bank-specific mobile app with minimal inconvenience. Citigroup and Wells Fargo refused to comment.

Messenger can be used by businesses to help people keep track of account information such as balances, receipts, or shipping dates, according to the social network. A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people's information safe and secure.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in May he was rolling out privacy controls demanded by European regulators to Facebook users worldwide because "everyone cares about privacy".

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