At this point, pretty much every Facebook user knows the company wants as much of our data as possible. It helps the company target advertising, and thus it’s the primary way it’s able to make so much money. However, there’s some information that’s so personal it causes alarm when Facebook tries to retrieve it. That’s what happened this week when The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has asked several major banks to provide user information like credit card activity and account balances.
For its part, Facebook disputed at least some of the report, claiming it’s not “actively” seeking this information from banks. According to the company, the conversations it does have with financial institutions revolve around account management and customer service. The company also flatly denied using purchase histories to target advertising.
“We’re not using this information beyond enabling these (customer service) types of experiences,” Facebook said in a statement. “A critical part of these partnerships is keeping people’s information safe and secure.”
With all of Facebook’s recent privacy scandals, it’s understandable why people were so concerned the company was reaching out to banks for our financial information. Let’s hope clear lines remain drawn between how the site does and does not use that data.