Privacy-focused messaging app Signal has tried to use the Facebook platform’s targeted advertising machine against it.
This came in order to highlight the problem that many active users of Facebook services are not aware of how the social network shares data with advertisers.
Signal wanted to run a series of Instagram ads to show the amount of data the social media platform and its parent company Facebook collects about users and how they use the data to drive targeted ads.
Signal’s application said PostFacebook quickly shut down this attempt.
Signal described how he created ads to show users why they saw them, by announcing in advance what information the ad platform relied on to perform its targeting.
Signal said: We created a multi-format targeted ad designed to show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access to it, and the ad displays some information collected about the scenes that the ad platform uses, and Facebook was not impressed with this idea.
The ads used the Signal brand and showed the user’s professional role, education, interests, hobbies, geographic location, and relationship status, among other personal data points collected from their interaction with the platform.
Unsurprisingly, the ads never reached the feeds of Instagram users and the platform’s Signal ads account was briefly disabled.
The application said: Facebook wants to sell access to people’s lives without telling them how their data is used, and it seems that transparency about how ads use people’s data is sufficient to block, and it seems that the only acceptable use in the Facebook world is to hide what you do from your audience.
The privacy-focused chat app was also promoted from prominent Signal users, such as Elon Musk and Edward Snowden, further fueling interest in the service.
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