Facebook wants your bank data
Facebook is chatting with banks as it wants to get them to join its Messenger platform and share user information in exchange for services.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the tech titan was talking to financial organisations to get information like credit card transactions and account balances.
The timing is interesting as Facebook is battling privacy concerns and adjusts its policy regarding user data.
The data in question would be used for Messenger features including account balance updates and fraud alerts, but not for Facebook’s other platforms.
At present, Facebook does have access to financial data from some companies for services such as customer service chats and account management. Users give Facebook permission to access their information, the company adds.
“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,” explains Facebook. “The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone – and it’s completely opt-in. We’re not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences – not for advertising or anything else. A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people’s information safe and secure.”
Plenty of people had opinions on this. One example is enough.
Dan Goldstein, president and owner of Page 1 Solutions, a digital marketing agency, says: “This is very troubling. It appears that Facebook has not learned its lesson about the importance of user privacy. The banks may be tempted to make this trade, but it will be bad PR, not to mention violations of financial privacy rules, for any who do. This may indicate that it is time for the state and federal regulators to step in and regulate how Facebook manages private user data.”