A WSJ article earlier today talked about Facebook potentially shoring up financial data from banks by asking them “to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking-account balances.” The company has now responded to that article, while categorically rejecting some of the allegations.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Facebook’s Corporate Communications Director, Elisabeth Diana, mentioned that the company is in no way shoring up data to use in ads or any other marketing services. She clarified that the company merely wants to offer features like fraud alerts and to allow customers to check their bank account balance via Messenger.
“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.”
“The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone – and it’s completely opt-in. We’re not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences – not for advertising or anything else. A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people’s information safe and secure.”
The company’s statement pretty much clears its stance on the matter. Diana also took the occasion to mention that bank account linking with Messenger is currently live in the United States via American Express and in Singapore with PayPal and Citi account holders.
The question of privacy doesn’t escape Facebook too often, and with good reason. Hence, it is understandable that the company holds a rigorous approach towards user privacy.
Do you like the idea of having your bank account details linked with Messenger?