May 8, 2021

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Signal ads: Signal says FB banned its ad account after a crackdown on the social media giant’s data collection


Encrypted messaging app Signal challenged user privacy policies on Facebook and Instagram by sharing a series of ads on Instagram to showcase how the social network collects information from users and showcases the ads’ basis for that particular detail.

The company claimed that companies like Facebook are not building the technology for you but for your data.

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“They are gathering everything they can from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to promote people and their lives,” Signal said in a blog post late on Tuesday.

Facebook, which has blocked Signal ads from its platform, did not comment on the Signal blog post.

In one of Signal’s ads posted on Instagram, it read: “You got this ad because you are a junior Pilates trainer and crazy about animation. Use this ad on your site to see that you are in La Jolla.

To reveal how this targeted advertising game is being implemented, Signal said it has created a multi-format targeted ad designed to “show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access to it.”

“The ad will simply display some of the information gathered about the scenes that the ad platform uses. Facebook was not interested in this idea,” the company noted.

Facebook immediately banned the Signal ads account after it was aiming to run an ad campaign to show Instagram users how Facebook collects their accounts.

Signal said Facebook is quite willing to sell insight into people’s lives, unless it’s to tell people how their data is being used.

“Obviously, being transparent about how ads use people’s data is enough to block; in the Facebook world, the only acceptable use is to hide what you do from your audience.”

Signal claims that Facebook’s private tools have the ability to reveal what is not visible otherwise.

“It is indeed possible to capture bits of these facts in the ads you display; they are glimmers of the world of a stranger watching and knowing you. We wanted to use the same tools to shine a direct light on how most technologies work. We wanted to buy some Instagram ads.”

Signal and Telegram both saw a huge turnout of new users as WhatsApp’s new terms of service and privacy policy, which is owned by Facebook, sparked a fresh debate about privacy.