Facebook has approached American banks about sharing customer data – including account balances.
The move stoked fears about user privacy, heightened in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, after the social media giant approached banks including Wells Fargo and Citigroup to discuss partnerships.
Facebook says that it’s not using the data for advertising – instead, it’s to deliver payment services within Messenger, the social media giant said.
The details could be used (for instance) to allow customers to chat with their bank via a ‘bot’ in Messenger.
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Facebook said in a statement, ‘A recent Wall Street Journal story implies incorrectly that we are actively asking financial services companies for financial transaction data – this is not true.
‘Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management.
‘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.
‘We’re not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences – not for advertising or anything else.’