Report: Facebook sought users’ financial data

Facebook has sought access to personal financial data conveyed through its Messenger program between users of the social media platform and financial institutions, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

The report comes as Facebook continues to face scrutiny for its handling of consumer information after political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica gained access to personal data from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their consent. 

Facebook has been negotiating with banks and other financial firms to use data that is carried by its instant-messaging app, Messenger, The Journal reports. Several financial businesses, including PayPal, negotiated tailored agreements that limited the data that Facebook could collect on the Messenger app, which is used to provide a link between consumers and banks’ customer service reps, the article noted. 

Facebook told the Journal that it is focused on data security. 

“We’ve emphasized to partners that keeping people’s information safe and secure is critical to these efforts. That has been and always will be our priority,” Facebook spokeswoman Elisabeth Diana told the publication. 

She said Facebook doesn’t use the data for targeting ads, such as displaying ads for specific demographic groups, such as households that earn more than $100,000. 

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