Facebook accused of asking banks for financial information about its users

Roman Schwartz
August 7, 2018

"Like many online companies, we routinely talk to financial institutions about how we can improve people's commerce experiences, like enabling better customer service", Facebook spokesperson Elisabeth Diana told the Wall Street Journal. "It has also pitched fraud alerts", reported the Wall Street Journal, which claimed, "Facebook has told banks that the additional customer information could be used to offer services that might entice users to spend more time on Messenger". Unless Facebook is able to reassure the banks that it either won't have direct access to the data itself, or that the data will never be used for advertising purposes, then the company may not succeed in convincing USA banks to share their customers data. (FB) is seeking to acquire financial data on its users.

'We don't use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads'.

"The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone - and it's completely opt-in", she added. However, one large bank has already pulled out of the partnership talks due to these privacy concerns, according to the WSJ.

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

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"We haven't shared any customer information or data to Facebook or any other technology platform", said Dana Ripley, chief communications officer at US Bancorp, in an email statement.

Wells Fargo decline to address the news. "An essential part of these efforts is keeping people's information safe and secure".

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". Shares in Facebook plummeted last week, wiping out some $100 billion, after the firm missed quarterly revenue forecasts and warned growth would be far weaker than previously estimated.

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