Your financial data is floating around everywhere and Jamie Dimon wants that to stop

JPMorgan’s CEO wants to start protecting your financial data.
JPMorgan’s CEO wants to start protecting your financial data.
Image: Reuters/Larry Downing
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JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is “extremely concerned” the amount of sensitive—and valuable—customer financial data other companies can obtain with your permission.

In an annual shareholder letter published today, Dimon dedicated a full page to the firm’s policy on sharing customer data with third-party services. JPMorgan’s analysis indicated that these companies take more information than necessary, trade your information with others, and keep pulling data even if you are no longer a user, according to the CEO’s letter.

Instead of unrestricted access, Dimon wants companies to “limit themselves to what they need in order to serve the customer and to let the customer know exactly what information is being used and why and how.” Then the bank will send—or as Dimon says,”push”—that specific data only, and customers don’t have to worry about giving third-parties sensitive password information.

The battle between banks and data aggregators like Quickbooks and Mint has been bubbling for a few months. In Nov. 2015, JPMorgan warned customers the firm would shut off access for Quicken and Quickbooks unless customers reauthorized their accounts by Feb. 15th. Earlier that month, the Wall Street Journal reported that JPMorgan and Wells Fargo were throttling data (paywall) sent to companies, specifically Mint, a personal financial management tool owned by Intuit. Customer data belongs to the customer, so banks can’t technically restrict access.

Security is a clear concern, but so are unrealized profits. Financial data is a potential goldmine for big banks. Dimon says JPMorgan uses big data to find high-value clients, but it can also be used for pushing real-time offers, accurate underwriting, and detecting fraud. Giving third-parties unlimited access to data that valuable, especially to non-bank competitors, is self-sabotage.