Facebook has entered discussions with major USA banks in an attempt to gain access to customer data, the Wall Street Journal reports. One bank, not named, has reportedly pulled out of the discussions for privacy concerns.
Facebook acknowledged last month that it was facing multiple inquiries from U.S. and British regulators about a scandal involving the now bankrupt British consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
People familiar with the matter told the Journal that Facebook has considered a feature that would show its users their account balances while it also pitched fraud alerts.
"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 told AFP by email.
Highlighting the fact that "Facebook has been a cesspool of privacy issues for quite a while", technology writer Curtis Silver argued in a piece for Forbes on Monday that it's time to "quit Facebook before it inevitably accesses your banking data".
Wells Fargo declined to comment.
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From Facebook's perspective, the company believes that more customer information means more targeted efforts at engaging its user base.
Facebook has promised that it will not use the bank data for any ad-targeting purposes or in communications with third parties. Shares in Facebook plummeted last week, wiping out some $100 billion, after the firm missed quarterly revenue forecasts and warned growth would be far weaker than previously estimated.
According to WSJ, Alphabet (Google's parent company) and Amazon have also been in talks with the banks about sharing their customers data to use it to improve digital assistants, such as Google Assistant and Alexa, respectively.
'We don't use purchase data from banks or credit card companies for ads'. This marks the largest gain since the rapid drop in July.