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Facebook asks major US banks to share customer data

Facebook asks major US banks to share customer data

Facebook is pushing back against a report in Monday's Wall Street Journal that the company is asking major banks to provide private financial data.

The Wall Street Journal had reported that Facebook approached JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and US Bancorp to ask for information about users' account balances and card transactions. At least one large USA bank has walked away from talks in light of the ongoing investigations into Facebook's data sharing practices, says the WSJ. "We also don't have special relationships, partnerships, or contracts with banks or credit card companies to use their customers' purchase data for ads". (JPM), Wells Fargo & Co.

Facebook has told banks that the additional customer information could be used to offer services that might entice users to spend more time on Messenger, a person familiar with the discussions said. A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people's information safe and secure.

Still, Facebook has been building up user comfort with sharing financial information through its site for years.

Shares of Facebook are up just 0.3% since the beginning of 2018 thanks to massive selloffs in March following the Cambridge Analytica saga and another rout last week following a disappointing quarterly earnings report. 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. And those on Facebook have become more comfortable using their credit cards in the news feed because of a product that enables people to ask their friends to donate to charitable causes.

A JPMorgan spokesperson said that the company is not sharing its customers' transaction details with these third parties.

Though the identity of that bank is unknown, it's not a surprise that some of Facebook's potential partners would be a bit leery of the company's business practices. A deeper integration with banks would also give Facebook another way to nudge users to shop on the platform. However, Facebook received good marks for "offering detailed terms of service and end-user agreements that explain how they use consumers' data", Consumer Reports said.

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