Facebook asks big banks to share customer details

07 August, 2018, 16:02 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • The social media giant is making the effort amid ongoing concerns about its ability to keep data private

Marcus, who in May was re-assigned to lead Facebook's blockchain efforts, had been focused on forging deals with major banks and payment companies to bring financial services to Messenger.

In response to the Journal's reporting, critics of corporate power used the word "dystopian" to describe the push by Facebook, Google, and Amazon for ever-greater access to users' personal information in a bid to boost profits.

The social network has asked several United States banks to share customers' financial data, including card transactions and checking account balances, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

"Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management", Facebook said in a separate statement to AFP.

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It has approached JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and US Bancorp about hosting several offers on Facebook Messenger.

Shares of Facebook are up just 0.3% since the beginning of 2018 thanks to massive selloffs in March following the Cambridge Analytica saga and another rout last week following a disappointing quarterly earnings report.

"We're not shoring up financial data", she added.

The news comes as Facebook struggles to fend off concerns that arose following the privacy scandal in which a political consulting firm obtained data on 87 million users without their knowledge.

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On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has been courting banks to enter into data-sharing agreements.

Wells Fargo declined to comment.

The dust surrounding the Cambridge Analytica data privacy incident still hasn't fully settled, but Facebook is already looking for additional ways to get its hands on user data.

"While we regularly have conversations about potential partnerships, safeguarding the security and privacy of our customers' data and providing customer choice are paramount in everything we do", Citigroup told AFP by email. "Account linking enables people to receive real-time updates in Facebook Messenger where people can keep track of their transaction data like account balances, receipts, and shipping updates". A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people's information safe and secure.

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