Facebook denies seeking users' bank data

Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook

"We're not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences - not for advertising or anything else". "We also don't have special relationships, partnership, or contracts with banks or credit-card companies to use their customers' purchase data for ads".

At a time when Facebook's data management is under intense scrutiny, this news is unlikely to be greeted enthusiastically by customers of those banks called out in the story - JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and U.S. Bancorp. But it denies the idea that it is seeking access to your financial data so it could fuel its ad engine or for some other goal.

Facebook has been getting cozy with your banks, but that might not be as alarming as it sounds.

Facebook is looking to gobble up users' financial information, including such tidbits as "card transactions and checking-account balances", as part of its relentless effort to swallow up yet more of the web, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Facebook, which has faced intense criticism for sharing user data with many app developers, was interested in information including bank card transactions, checking account balances, and where purchases were made, according to the source.

Still, Facebook has been building up user comfort with sharing financial information through its site for years.

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Wells Fargo declined to comment.

In a statement to the Journal, a Facebook spokesperson said it will not use the new financial data for advertisements.

Shares of Menlo Park, California-based Facebook ended the day up 4.5 percent at $185.69.

Banks would like to have better integration with online platforms, but at the same time they would like their customers to use their own apps and services, rather than the services of third parties like Amazon, Google and Facebook.

"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. A partnership with Facebook could help them do it.

Though the identity of that bank is unknown, it's not a surprise that some of Facebook's potential partners would be a bit leery of the company's business practices.

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