Facebook denies seeking users' bank data

Facebook denies seeking users' bank data

Facebook denies seeking users' bank data

Facebooksaid this week that it had proposed data-sharing partnerships with banks and credit-card companies that would allow users to access their personal account information from within the social network's messaging service, Facebook Messenger, as an alternative to speaking with customer-service representatives or automated chatbots on the companies' banking or credit sites. That app now boasts 1.3 billion users and serves as the company's commerce center. The banks Facebook reportedly approached in the previous year include JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup, and U.S. Bancorp.

While reactions on social media to the WSJ were often critical of the report, especially from people already concerned about Facebook's handling of its own private user data, the company was quick to issue a rebuttal.

Facebook has reportedly approached several of the biggest USA banks, asking them to share their customers' financial data with the social-media giant.

Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Monday it is in talks to deepen links with banks and financial institutions, saying it can help the firms improve their customer service. Wells Fargo is "not actively engaging in data-sharing conversations with Facebook", spokeswoman Hilary O'Byrne said in an emailed statement.

Facebook says it's been partnering with banks and credit card providers on chatbots and account management over Facebook Messenger.

"While we regularly have conversations about potential partnerships, safeguarding the security and privacy of our customers' data and providing customer choice are paramount in everything we do", Citigroup said. "How much more of your personal existence are you willing to give up to continue to be a sieve of your data for a multi-billion dollar corporation?"

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The banks' primary concern with this partnership is, unsurprisingly, about data privacy.

From Facebook's perspective, the company believes that more customer information means more targeted efforts at engaging its user base.

One large bank has reportedly pulled away from the discussion due to privacy concerns.

A spokeswoman for Citigroup said the company recognizes its customers are increasingly spending more time on social media and it wants to be where consumers are.

Facebook has promised that it will not use the bank data for any ad-targeting purposes or in communications with third parties.

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