Facebook asks big banks to share customer details

Adjust Comment Print

The allegations came in a story in the Wall Street Journal which claimed the social networking giant had asked USA banks to share information about their customers.

Facebook had discussions with Chase, JPMorgan, Citibank, and Wells Fargo several months ago, said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.

The social media network wants access to card transactions and checking account balances along with information about where its users shop, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has been courting banks to enter into data-sharing agreements. In order for Facebook to show users' banking information, Facebook would need to have access to that same data too, which it could then use to improve its ad-targeting algorithms.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for US Bancorp told CNNMoney it has not shared any customer information or data to Facebook or any other tech platform. "How much more of your personal existence are you willing to give up to continue to be a sieve of your data for a multi-billion dollar corporation?" Examples of this include Bank of America and American Express, which you can text with over the chat service.

The banks' primary concern with this partnership is, unsurprisingly, about data privacy.

The company has also faced questions about its ability to safeguard data following a series of scandals, including a third-party app that mishandled private user information.

Facebook acknowledged last month that it was facing multiple inquiries from USA and British regulators about a scandal involving the now bankrupt British consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

What that means is that if you're anxious about Facebook having any connection with banks, the WSJ's report should alarm you. Spokeswoman Elisabeth Diana says: "We don't use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads".

"Facebook already has mountains of information about our social networks, physical movements, and activity online".

Although Citi doesn't offer a chatbot concierge service within Messenger in the United States, it allows users in Singapore to use the platform to check account balances, see recent transactions and view their rewards points balance. Wells Fargo is "not actively engaging in data-sharing conversations with Facebook", spokeswoman Hilary O'Byrne said in an emailed statement.