Facebook Wants Access To Your Financial Data
Facebook Wants Access To Your Financial Data
Just when you thought that Facebook had learnt its lesson after Cambridge Analytica and that all would once again be well on the mighty interwebs, then they go ahead and do something that makes you roll your eyes and utter a big, old “no”.
Surely, Facebook would know better by now?
According to the Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg and Co have approached large US financial institutions such as JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup with the dubious proposal “Give us access to your private financial data, and we’ll give you our users”. But what does this actually mean? Well, in exchange for the private banking data of users, Facebook wants to offer banks the ability to conduct business within the all-consuming social media platform itself.
Will Facebook Ever Learn?
The social media giant has asked US financial institutions for detailed bank data on their customers, such as your recent card transactions and checking-account balances. Does it sound dubious? Definitely. Should you avoid it? Most certainly.
A Facebook representative recently told The Next Web, that they had indeed approached companies like JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo with the early stages of a business proposal, but that they had “yet to request” actual transaction data. Facebook also stated that they wished to incorporate banking chatbots into the Messenger app, in order to make life and finances easier for the nearly 2.2 billion Facebook users worldwide. They further announced that:
Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies (...) messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone (...) We’re not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences – not for advertising or anything else.
Considering what we already know about Facebook’s attitude and approach to customer data, most people would be careful trusting them again - and especially with something as sensitive as their personal finances. I mean, you probably don’t need to be reminded of how they just wiped their hands and took pretty close to zero blame when Cambridge Analytica misused the data of 87 million Facebook users.
Luckily, there is no reason for you to panic just yet. A representative for Wells Fargo recently explained that “Maintaining the privacy of customer data is of paramount importance to Wells Fargo. We are not actively engaged in data-sharing conversations with Facebook”.
And they are far from the only one: In addition to Wells Fargo, it is also reported that another financial institution has chosen to end communication with Facebook, also citing privacy concerns as the main reason. Naturally, Facebook is busy doing the rounds and desperately trying to assure banks that it won’t use personal data for targeted advertisements and that they “will not share it with third parties”. Without any luck so far.
Zuckerberg is not the only one looking to expand into financial services. Rivalling tech companies Google and Amazon, have also been asking banks to share their customer data recently. They are looking to add baking services to their personal assistants, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant .
However, people’s trust in Amazon and Google rank far higher than their trust in Facebook.
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