In Facebook's worst ever public relations disaster, it admitted that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by Cambridge Analytica, which was working for US President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign. "Facebook has told banks that the additional customer information could be used to offer services that might entice users to spend more time on Messenger".
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.
According to WSJ, Facebook doesn't want to just be a platform where you can communicate with your friends, but also a place to buy and sell goods and services. The WSJ reports that Facebook made inquiries to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Wells Fargo declined to address the news.
New features could include tools that help users check their account balances or alert them about bank fraud, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Facebook told the paper that any financial information it obtains would not be shared with third parties or used to target advertisements. However, the banks seem to be approaching any partnerships very carefully after the recent Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, and one large bank has reportedly already quit talks with Facebook.
The talks are part of an effort to make Facebook Messenger more of a destination for online shopping. The company is aiming to boost user engagement, particularly with its Messenger service, after Facebook lost more than $120 billion ins market value in a single day earlier this summer.
Facebook has reportedly said that it wouldn't use the data to improve its ad-targeting or share it with others. "We also don't have special relationships, partnerships, or contracts with banks or credit card companies to use their customers' purchase data for ads".