Facebook Wants Access to Your Banking Data

Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook

Facebook has reportedly approached several of the biggest US banks, asking them to share their customers' financial data with the social-media giant.

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

Facebook reached out to JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and U.S. Bancorp in the past year about partnering, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. One bank, not named, has reportedly pulled out of the discussions for privacy concerns. "We also don't have special relationships, partnership, or contracts with banks or credit-card companies to use their customers' purchase data for ads".

Wells Fargo declined to address the news.

While banks are keen to be more innovative and offer customers ways to transact on their phones, in this instance they were too concerned about Facebook's ability to keep sensitive customer data private. An essential part of these efforts is keeping people's information safe and secure, ' Facebook said in a statement.

At any rate, according to the WSJ, Facebook is not interested in using any data it would gain from banks for ad-targeting purposes.

The company's decision comes at a time when it is facing several investigations for its links with political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. And those on Facebook have become more comfortable using their credit cards in the news feed because of a product that enables people to ask their friends to donate to charitable causes.

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".

However, Facebook said that users must opt in to linking the Messenger chat app to their bank accounts.

A JPMorgan spokesperson said that the company is not sharing its customers' transaction details with these third parties.

What that means is that if you're anxious about Facebook having any connection with banks, the WSJ's report should alarm you.

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