Facebook Asks Major US Banks To Share Customer Details

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

Facebook tried to persuade banks to give it their users' data by promising them features such as users being able to see their checking account balances or receiving fraud alerts within Facebook Messenger.

One large bank has reportedly pulled away from the discussion due to privacy concerns.

At a time when Facebook's data management is under intense scrutiny, this news is unlikely to be greeted enthusiastically by customers of those banks called out in the story - JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and U.S. Bancorp.

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

Though the identity of that bank is unknown, it's not a surprise that some of Facebook's potential partners would be a bit leery of the company's business practices.

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

Facebook told the paper that any financial information it obtains would not be shared with third parties or used to target advertisements. (FB) is seeking to acquire financial data on its users. "We also don't have special relationships, partnership, or contracts with banks or credit-card companies to use their customers' purchase data for ads".

According to WSJ, Alphabet (Google's parent company) and Amazon have also been in talks with the banks about sharing their customers data to use it to improve digital assistants, such as Google Assistant and Alexa, respectively.

"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. We're not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences - not for advertising or anything else. "An essential part of these efforts is keeping people's information safe and secure".

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