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Is Your Bank Getting Too Nosey?

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Banks have been forced to cut some fees and are trying to make up for that lost money. One new way is to team up with advertisers to target you.

CBS 2's Dorothy Tucker asks whether it's a good deal or an invasion of privacy.

You can't walk down the street without seeing an ad in store windows, on buses or taxis. Now, deals from retailers are starting to show up somewhere very personal: in your online bank statement. 

"I don't know if that's an invasion of my privacy or convenient," says consumer Chris Rios.

It is an easy way to get a deal, but these aren't just any old offers.

"There's probably no other entity other than your mate that knows you better than your bank," says Bill Hardekopf of "They know where you shop, how much you spend, how often you spend."

Banks get that information every time you use your credit or debit card.

And now they're passing that info on to other companies who want your business.

"They're now working with third-party companies that can kind of accumulate all this data and can come up with a specific marketing offer that has great appeal to you based on your purchasing patterns," Hardekopf says.

According to the Online Banking Report, some retailers have seen their business increase by 30 times normal from these types of ads. But the deal that's being offered to you may not be the best one, warns consumer advocate Brian Imus.

"Sometimes, based on that information, one customer can be offered one price that's different than your neighbor," says Imus, the executive director of Illinois PIRG.

Imus is also concerned about more opportunities for personal, private information to get lost or stolen.

The Federal Trade Commission is proposing easier-to-understand privacy notices and easier ways for consumers to opt out of personalized offers.

Stella black thinks that's a good idea.

"I just feel like it's another hassle to deal with," she says.

So, why are banks doing targeted advertising? Many are losing out on fees because of the Card Act of 2009. For in-statement ads, the retailer pays all the costs associated with the offer, and the bank gets a commission on every deal you accept.

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