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Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Facebook asks United States banks to share customer details

Facebook asks United States banks to share customer details

The allegations came in a story in the Wall Street Journal which claimed the social networking giant had asked U.S. banks to share information about their customers.

The dust surrounding the Cambridge Analytica data privacy incident still hasn't fully settled, but Facebook is already looking for additional ways to get its hands on user data.

Facebook has asked large US banks to share financial information about their customers as it seeks to offer new services to users, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In a statement reported by CNBC, a Facebook spokesperson clarified that the company is not "actively asking financial services companies for financial transaction data".

According to the report, Facebook has asked banks "to discuss potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger", as well as offer a feature to display checking account balances.

Citigroup acknowledged holding talks with Facebook but declined to comment on its willingness to share information about bank card transactions, checking account balances, and geolocation of purchases made by their customers.

The statement follows a story in the Wall Street Journal that said the social media giant had asked USA banks for such data.

The social media company said users of financial firms such as PayPal (PYPL.O), Citibank (C.N) and American Express (AXP.N) could link their financial accounts with Facebook's Messenger and chat with a customer service representative.

But Facebook is saying it won't collect any of your bank's financial or transactional information about you, and that opting into the service will only enable better integration with Facebook Messenger.

The social media company said it wouldn't use the bank data for ad-targeting purposes or share it with third parties, the WSJ said.

From Facebook's perspective, the company believes that more customer information means more targeted efforts at engaging its user base. Earlier this year, Facebook executives were forced to apologize after the personal data of as many as 87 million people ended up in the hands of a United Kingdom political consultancy. A JPMorgan Chase spokeswoman said the company isn't "sharing our customers' off-platform transaction data with these platforms, and have had to say no to some things as a result". But they also said they were stepping lightly because of possible customer concerns about data security and privacy.

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