Facebook Messenger customer service chatbots used to communicate with banks, held key information the social network strongly lobbied to obtain…
Since its debut, Facebook has made Messenger all about communication. An easy way to connect with family and friends, as well as help customers communicate with businesses. But, a new report from The Wall Street Journal reveals Facebook sought to use the messaging service to learn sensitive financial data about its users.
Facebook Pushed Banks to Disclose Customer Financial Data Passing through Messenger
With recent scandals fresh in-mind, many users have changed the way they interact with Facebook. But, the social network’s ever-growing need for personal information and activities have indeed lead to some very questionable practices.
Case in point is the WSJ report which reveals the social corporation lobbied hard for financial data from banks to their customers, passed through Messenger customer service chatbots.
However, the financial institutions found these tactics obtrusive and refused to hand over any information. What’s more, some companies pushed back, moving conversations off the Messenger platform to shield data. Although, Facebook didn’t give up without a fight. The WSJ reports the social site argued with American Express, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo over the practice.
This stems from the tech organization’s initiative to help banking institutions transform the chat app into an automated customer service hub. Some of the bots were created to siphon off customer information. Information Facebook could use to learn more about customer spending habits to enhance its ad-targeting.
PayPal and Western Union actually negotiated contracts for certain financial services. But, most of the big bank simply refused to work with the social platform due to its overly-aggressive push for more customer data. A Facebook spokesperson told the WSJ:
“Like many online companies, we partner with financial institutions to improve people’s commerce experiences, like enabling better customer service, and people opt into these experiences.”
The spokesperson also said Facebook is committed to keep its users’ information safe and secure.