Facebook asks US banks for financial info to boost user engagement

Facebook wants banks to share your personal finances: Report

Facebook might add your banking info to Messenger

The social media giant is facing lawsuits over the debacle in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, is being investigated by various agencies and has inspired a handful of data privacy bills in both the House and the Senate.

Facebook is asking major USA banks for financial data in order to provide more online shopping services and to track consumer spending habits, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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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.

The petition, which went out to numerous largest banks across the country, is sure to draw criticism from many interested in retaining data privacy, particularly in an area as sensitive as personal finance. Facebook has pulled in $11.8 billion in advertising revenue in the US and Canada so far in 2018. At least one major United States bank left talks with the company due to privacy concerns, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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Facebook has reportedly held talks with Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and US Bancorp over the past year to discuss the possibility of new features, such as fraud alerts or showing account balances, it could host on Facebook Messenger. (JPM), Wells Fargo & Co. However, the banks seem to be approaching any partnerships very carefully after the recent Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, and one large bank has reportedly already quit talks with Facebook. The company is aiming to boost user engagement, particularly with its Messenger service, after Facebook lost more than $120 billion ins market value in a single day earlier this summer.

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.

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"Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management", she said in a statement on behalf of the social media giant.

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