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. Its latest effort? To try and convince banks to offer services inside Messenger, according to a new report.
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.
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.
"We don't use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads", Facebook spokeswoman Elisabeth Diana said in a statement. The company has also faced questions about its ability to safeguard data following a series of scandals, including a third-party app that mishandled private user information. I reached out to Facebook for comment and will update this post if I hear back.
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REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl An anti-U.S. mural is seen on a wall of a government building in central Tehran October 12, 2011. The agency reported all protests had taken place without official permission and were subsequently broken up by police.
In brief: Facebook doesn't exactly have the best track record when it comes to data privacy, but the company isn't letting its troubled past deter it from pursuing new data sharing partnerships.
Facebook has reportedly approached several of the biggest USA banks, asking them to share their customers' financial data with the social-media giant.
At any rate, according to the WSJ, Facebook is not interested in using any data it would gain from banks for ad-targeting purposes. "Like many online companies, we routinely talk to financial institutions about how we can improve people's commerce experiences, like enabling better customer service", said Diana. "We also do not have special relationships, partnerships, or contracts with banks or credit-card companies to use their customers' purchase data for ads". A cell phone can receive text-message fraud alerts, and anyone responsible already regularly looks at their bank accounts on a computer or via a bank-specific mobile app with minimal inconvenience. A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people's information safe and secure. (JPM), Wells Fargo & Co.