Facebook Says It Does Not ‘Actively’ Seek Banking Data Of Consumers

Consumers’ banking data is not being “actively” sought by it, says Facebook.

According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal, a number of major banks have been requested by Facebook to provide data about account balances and credit card activity of consumers and Facebook users. The report stated that companies like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and U.S. Bancorp were approached by Facebook for discussing on potential offerings that it could make for users on its Messenger chat platform.

While admitting that it works with banks for various services on Messenger offers for users, Facebook did not make any comments on the new report.

“A recent Wall Street Journal story implies incorrectly that we are actively asking financial services companies for financial transaction data — this is not true,” a Facebook spokesperson told the media. “Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management.”

For example, users of Facebook have the option of linking their Messenger accounts with their PayPal accounts and know about account balances, receipts and shipping updates. Purchases can be tracked on Messenger by American Express customers. It does not share any of the financial data with advertisers, Facebook said.

.”The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone — and it’s completely opt-in,” the Facebook spokesperson added.

Citigroup has realized that social media is being used more and more by its customers and therefore the lender wants wot be where its customers are mostly, said a spokesperson for the bank. However, the spokesperson noted some of the privacy concerns.

“While we regularly have conversations about potential partnerships, safeguarding the security and privacy of our customers’ data and providing customer choice are paramount in everything we do,” said the spokesperson.

JPMorgan is not “sharing our customers’ off-platform transaction data with these platforms, and have had to say no to some things as a result,” a spokeswoman had told the Wall Street Journal.

No customer data or information has been shared by US Bancorp with Facebook or any such other platforms, said a spokesperson of the bank. “The privacy and protection of our customers’ personal information and data is our highest priority,” he added.

Wells Fargo said in a statement that “maintaining the privacy of customer data is of paramount importance” to the bank.

“We are not actively engaged in data-sharing conversations with Facebook,” the company said.

The privacy polices of Facebook has been drawing increasing criticism in recent times form various parts of the world after the exposure of the scandal of Cambridge Analytica where the company gained access to personal data of about as many as 87 million Facebook users worldwide.

(Adapted from Money.CNN.com)


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