Facebook accused of asking banks for financial information about its users

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Shares of Facebook surged almost 3% following the report.

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook is asking banks - including JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup - to turn over financial data on their customers.

The petition, which went out to numerous largest banks across the country, is sure to draw criticism from many interested in retaining data privacy, particularly in an area as sensitive as personal finance.

"Like many online companies with commerce businesses, we partner with banks and credit card companies to offer services like customer chat or account management", Facebook said. I reached out to Facebook for comment and will update this post if I hear back.

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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.

Among the "features" Facebook is reportedly looking to create if it successfully obtains financial data is a tool that would "show its users their checking-account balances", the Journal reported.

"We haven't shared any customer information or data with Facebook or any other technology platform", Dana Ripley, a spokesman for U.S. Bancorp, said in an emailed statement.

"The Messenger chatbot pilot was created to be a short-term study to learn as much as possible about how conversational banking capabilities can improve our customer experience, and to learn about delivering banking information using AI", Wells Fargo's O'Byrne said in the statement. Google and Amazon have reportedly also sought similar arrangements, exchanging user data for the banks' integration with the tech companies' massive platforms. A cell phone can receive text-message fraud alerts, and anyone responsible already regularly looks at their bank accounts on a computer or via a bank-specific mobile app with minimal inconvenience. "An essential part of these efforts is keeping people's information safe and secure". The social media giant is facing lawsuits over the debacle in the United States and the United Kingdom, is being investigated by various agencies and has inspired a handful of data privacy bills in both the House and the Senate.