Facebook’s proposed financial data use ignites more controversy

Facebook assured financial institutions it won’t use data for targeted advertisements.

Facebook reportedly is working with several financial institutions to incorporate customers’ personal financial data, including credit and debit card transactions and checking account balances, to extend the social network’s footprint.

According to the Wall Street Journal, and other sources, Facebook held conversations with Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and US Bancorp over the past year to discuss the possibility of adding features, such as fraud alerts or screening account balances, on Facebook Messenger.

This news comes on the heels of public and congressional heat following the March 2018 reports that data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica acquired and used Facebook data (at last count, of some 71 million Americans).

“Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email statement. “Account linking enables people to receive real-time updates in Facebook Messenger where people can keep track of their transaction data like account balances, receipts, and shipping updates.”


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