Facebook wants banks to share their customers’ data, but would it be safe?

Facebook last week announced it was asking U.S financial institutions to share detailed account information about their customers as part of an effort to offer new services. Facebook disputed these details saying that their partnership with the banks isn’t “to gather data to power ad targeting, or even personalize content such as which Marketplace products you see based on what you buy elsewhere.”

Facebook is already in works with certain banks including Kenya’s UBA bank and Singapore’s Citibank to provide features through its Messenger platform. Customers can use their bank’s Messenger chatbot to check balances, report fraud and get customer support.

The social media giant assured users that there’s nothing to worry about despite its past history with user data, stressing that their credit card and banking information won’t be used for features such as ad targeting. Messenger users can already send and receive money via the app but for now, at least, users have to opt-in to link it to their bank account.

A partnership with banks might see users automatically get linked to their banks. Ultimately, financial institutions want customers to communicate with them in the ways that are most convenient to the customers.

Google’s Cameos debuts, a Q & A video app for celebrities

The app will allow celebrities to record short video responses to the most popular search queries about them and the answers will be included in Google’s search results as part of its Posts on Google platform. For now, the app is iOS and invite-only to be able to record any videos. The videos are recorded in portrait and viewable full-screen in a story-like interface. The videos won’t be on YouTube but Google.com since its main goal is helping web searchers find answers to questions. I tried to sign up but apparently, I am not a celebrity. How rude, Google!

Tech giants vs Alex Jones

If you haven’t been reading the news, conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones got banned from some major social networks – well, except Periscope and Tumblr. The crisis control took too long and the damage had already been done. The swift action taken by those companies is a welcome move to limit hate speech and harmful content on these platforms. But why did YouTube and Facebook join in right after Apple stymied his Infowars podcast? It comes months after pressure from consumers and victims of Jones’s conspiracy-mongering, not because of their interest in policing their sites on behalf of their users but because another rival mega-corporation, Apple, who did it first. Alex got banned but the lessons from this saga have been lost on tech giants – none of these platforms wants to use this opportunity to come up with a transparent roadmap for enforcement in a post-Jones platform era and acknowledge that the regular spreading of false information and hate speech was and is still a major plague.

Other Stories

Facebook launched Mentorships to match people within Groups to help them guide each other.

This is a blatant rip-off of LinkedIn’s mentorship program making Facebook look like it’s starting to lose track of their identity.  Mentorship product manager Gabriel Cohen said that the kind of help that mentors will be providing will vary widely, from helping new Group members “learn the ropes” in the Group, through to providing more direct support and guidance in whatever the specific area might be.

Instagram Captions are full of Drake’s lyrics, why?

Drake is a human meme – he’s versatile enough to be used in many different contexts. He often RT’s and shares fan-made memes, his music video for “In My Feelings” incorporates the viral videos the song inspired. The Next Web slid into strangers DMs to find out. All in all, Drake knows what the internet loves and he gives it to us. [Read More]


If you’re a film fan, don’t check out this hilarious twitter account, it will trigger you as the account tweets joke criticisms of movie “mistakes.”

Mozilla Advance

If you like going through internet rabbit holes, Mozilla made the right extension for you. Advance will recommend pages to read next based on your browsing habits and user input. While I appreciate how they handled privacy with this, I’m afraid users don’t use browsers to read articles of interest all the time. It’s used for work too and the sidebar constantly being open is an annoyance at best.

Opera’s cryptocurrency wallet

Opera wants to win some fans in the blockchain world and is planning to become the first major desktop browser to include a cryptocurrency wallet, negating the need for third-party extensions or applications. The concept is cool. But would it work better with a more popular web browser?

Have you tried using poems on Tinder to find a match?

Having flirting trouble to get a date on Tinder? Have you tried writing poems? Drew does just that – charming his matches with sonnets that are also acrostics spelling favourite pickup lines like SEND NUDES and WANNA SMASH. One poem even led to a long-term thing though he says that’s not his secret to love. [Read More]

Tech stories from Africa

Uganda’s social media tax is scaring away Facebook’s investments in the country

Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s Africa Policy Manager informed Uganda Communications Commission of the company’s plan to stop its investment in the country and shift them elsewhere during a meeting with the regulator. UCC denied this conversation but the social media giant says it will further engage the government in a dialogue about the tax before moving forward with its plans. [Read More]

Bitange Ndemo on the state of data in Africa and why it could lead to the continent’s recolonisation

Bitange puts his two cents on why Africa needs to invest in data collection and manipulation if we want to compete on a global scale. He pens his fears on how much-developed countries are piling up so much data on the continent that the thought of Africa’s recolonisation using the same data is not far-fetched. He believes that those with the data will also undoubtedly exploit opportunities. He ends it by saying we should begin to be owners of data for our good. [Read More]


Clicked covers trending international and regional tech stories you might have missed from the past week. Read previous editions here.