This week Facebook is once again in the news. While before they were in trouble for unethically sharing users’ data for their own gain, now they want to take more of our data. They want banks and financial institutions to share our data with them so that they can offer financial services of their own.
How do you sit with this information? Do you feel safe with Facebook having your financial information? Do you trust your bank to share your data with a third party?
Chris quipped, “Oh my stars and garters, NO! I barely trust them with my direct deposits!”
Ryan asks if this isn’t one of the reasons that cryptocurrency has the appeal that it does, because it’s decentralized and anonymous. He thinks that now that more people are aware of the ways large companies like Facebook orchestrate the collection of our data, “they are going to turn to more dubious, clandestine methods to hoard the personal information that fuels their enterprises.” As long as people keep scrolling down to the end of user agreements and clicking “accept” without fulling reading the text, he thinks shady stuff like this is going to keep happening.
Phil doesn’t trust banks to begin with, yet he has to as they hold all his money. He offers that he does so “grudgingly while looking sideways at them through narrowed eyes with my hand resting carelessly on a slip of paper containing the email address of the banking watchdog.” He knows if there’s a buck in it for them, they will sell him and his mum to the highest bidder within the limits of the laws, “so no. No no no.”
Andrew really likes the idea of “potentially expanding access to financial services and even just making it more convenient to send someone money,” as he realizes not everyone has Venmo or will accept a quick Monero transfer. He’s not even opposed to banks going through third parties to achieve such a thing.
But he’d prefer that it would be in the form of a cryptocurrency solution that wouldn’t require banks to share data. He could see banks running their own private exchanges, giving users cryptocurrency on a blockchain that’s been agreed upon and standardized by the bank. Allowing users to bring their crypto-identities to third parties rather than their “much more comprehensive banking identities.” He would want them to “create trust and security without the carefree proliferation of our data.”
Noting that banks can suss out all the secrets he might want to keep private, Alex would rather they “didn’t sell that insight to the highest bidder.” He adds that even if you lie to your family, wife, best friend, boss, and everyone else, “your bank still knows you’re a chronic gambler, drug addict, fetishist, or a secret Democrat.” He knows it’s the kind of information Google, potential employers, credit agencies, and Facebook “would salivate over.” Being that banks could potentially make money off it, there’s no reason to assume it would stay private.
Miguel answers firmly, “Absolutely not!” stating it’s his money, his business, and no one else’s.” He sees that financial records are probably the most intimate thing “any freedom-loving individual has.” He also sees a “pragmatic non-deontologic argument against it.” If multiple entitles have your credit card history, it introduces “more points of failure in the security chain that ensures your financial privacy.” And he knows this data would be of great interest to the government.
He adds it’s things like this that push him to be a cash-only individual and to deal with cryptocurrencies, although not Bitcoin, which he sees as having a transparent and open ledger that shows everything you do.
I’m far from a person who is extra-protective of my security, my data, or my finances, yet I say a big, “Hell no!” Facebook has proven they can’t be trusted with my data. Now I’m supposed to let my bank give them my financial info? I don’t think so. If they want that info, they’ll have to become trustworthy enough again so that people are willing to share it with them through more organic means.
It looks like our writers all feel the same way. This isn’t something they feel is a good idea. Where do you stand with this news regarding Facebook? Are you willing to trust them with your financial info? Do you trust your bank to share your data with a third party? Join our conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments section below.
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