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Facebook wants banks to hand over customers’ financial information

August 6, 2018

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has reached out to JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and US Bankcorp to discuss joining forces with Facebook Messenger.

Why? Facebook would reportedly use the information to build new features, like the ability for users to check their account balance or to get fraud alerts through Messenger. In exchange, banks would have to provide data on its customers’ transactions and balances. The social network says the information would only be used for creating new features, not for ad targeting.

But... The legacy of the Cambridge Analytica scandal looms large. Banks have reportedly been hesitant to collaborate with the tech giant because of data privacy concerns, and one bank pulled out of talks entirely.

Going offline: Facebook is increasingly trying to gain access to your offline data to bolster its profile of users and provide more features. Earlier this year they even reached out to hospitals about getting medical data on users. Facebook isn’t alone, either. Other tech giants like Google also want access to your offline information—because if they don’t get it, the thinking goes, their competitors will.

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