Facebook Wants Banks to Hand Over Your Financial Information

The social media giant is making the effort amid ongoing concerns about its ability to keep data private

Facebook has asked major United States banks to share customer data to allow it to develop new services on the social network's Messenger texting platform, a banking source told AFP on Monday. (FB) is seeking to acquire financial data on its users.

The primary concern among many banks and individual customers with regards to Facebook's latest attempts at expansion is data privacy.

Facebook has reportedly held talks with Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and US Bancorp over the past year to discuss the possibility of new features, such as fraud alerts or showing account balances, it could host on Facebook Messenger.

The social media company said it wouldn't use the bank data for ad-targeting purposes or share it with third parties. "We also don't have special relationships, partnership, or contracts with banks or credit-card companies to use their customers' purchase data for ads". Facebook has pulled in $11.8 billion in advertising revenue in the USA and Canada so far in 2018.

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Wells Fargo decline to address the news. However, one large bank has already pulled out of the partnership talks due to these privacy concerns, according to the WSJ.

In recent months, Facebook has been scrutinized for its approach to user privacy. "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". "An essential part of these efforts is keeping people's information safe and secure".

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. 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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