According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is in talks with major US banks to pitch ideas for finance-related features that would tie into a user’s bank account.
Specifically, these new features would allow Facebook’s Messenger app to provide useful services like fraud alerts and balance inquiries. Of course, that means granting detailed personal information like transactions and even the locations credit cards have been used.
Facebook says none of this information would be used to fuel targeted ads, but considering the negligence that allowed Cambridge Analytica to abscond with millions of users’ personal data, we’re not convinced the company has earned our trust back just yet. Even with the best intentions, it’s always possible there will be a breach.
Besides, most banks already handle fraud alerts via SMS message, and it’s hardly a slog to check your own balance. We’d hope Facebook has something a little smarter up its sleeves if it wants users to jump on board with this idea.
Despite our misgivings, Facebook’s stock prices have actually risen slightly since the news that it was seeking to work with banks – but understandably, the general public seems a little more concerned by the news. Remember, it’s only a matter of months since Facebook was in hot water for the aforementioned data scandal, and its entire business is built around harvesting personal data.
Unless you’ve been exceptionally careful, Facebook already knows quite a lot about you. Would you feel comfortable with bank details being added to the list?