tuesday, 7 august of 2018


Would you trust Facebook with your bank account details?

Would you trust Facebook with your bank details? Chances are that after the recent revelations about how the social media giant gave away personal information on as many as 87 million users to Cambridge Analytica, the answer is a firm “no”.

Facebook is reportedly trying to get financial institutions in the US to pass on detailed financial knowledge about how customers spend their Money.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the company has asked several leading banks in the US including JP Morgan, Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, to reveal all on people’s banking transactions.

The move comes as Facebook seeks to get users to spend more time on its platform by potentially introducing a new service that would allow them to carry out some basic banking transactions through the social media platform.

The Journal says the company has asked banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and account balances.

Will the banks agree to this request? Possibly not. The Journal reports that one of the banks has already withdrawn from discussions over privacy concerns.

In Ireland, whether at AGMs or in front of Oireachtas committees, the banks always cite customer confidentiality whenever the case of an individual who claims to have been wronged by the institution is put before them for comment.

Facebook has reportedly sought to reassure financial institutions that it won’t use bank data for ad-targeting purposes or share it with third parties. But given how easily it was for Cambridge Analytica to obtain and exploit personal information there are plenty of reasons for concern for users.

Moreover, while Facebook has apologised for its handling of the whole affair, it still very much acts as though it has done nothing wrong.

The company might be better off doing more to reassure users that it takes their privacy seriously before making a grab to get even more data on them.

(Published by The Irish Times, Aug 7, 2018)

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