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Elisabeth Diana, a Facebook spokeswoman, told Ars that while the WSJ reported that Facebook has "asked" banks "to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking-account balances", this isn't quite right.

The social media titan has reportedly put forward a proposed feature that would allow users to see their own checking-account balances through the platform, as well as fraud alerts that could be delivered through Facebook as well. A deeper integration with banks would also give Facebook another way to nudge users to shop on the platform.

"The idea is that messaging with a bank can be better than waiting on hold over the phone - and it's completely opt-in", she added. (JPM), Wells Fargo & Co. At least one major United States bank left talks with the company due to privacy concerns, the Wall Street Journal reports. "An essential part of these efforts is keeping people's information safe and secure".

According to WSJ, Alphabet (Google's parent company) and Amazon have also been in talks with the banks about sharing their customers data to use it to improve digital assistants, such as Google Assistant and Alexa, respectively.

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"We're not using this information beyond enabling these types of experiences - not for advertising or anything else", Facebook explained in its statement.

It's not clear if Facebook's attempts to obtain user financial data will be successful or not, but we'll likely find out in the coming months. 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.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in May he was rolling out privacy controls demanded by European regulators to Facebook users worldwide because "everyone cares about privacy".

Shares in the social network have regained some ground and rose 4.4 percent to close at $185.69 on Monday.


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