May 6, 2021

PRIVACY: Signal’s smartass ad exposes Facebook’s creepy data collection.

The resulting adverts can be eerily intimate and potentially harmful. Just last week, researchers found that Facebook had allowed advertisers to target teenage children interested in smoking, gambling, and extreme weight loss.

Signal’s plan was to use Facebook’s own tools to highlight these practices.

“The ad would simply display some of the information collected about the viewer which the advertising platform uses,” Signal said in a blog post. “Facebook was not into that idea.”

According to Signal, Facebook promptly disabled the ad account. Facebook denied that the account has been shut down and dismissed the ads as a publicity stunt. But Signal has maintained the claim.

The company also shared examples of what Facebook ads would look like if they were open about the targeting.

While it isn’t true that Facebook can access your phone’s mic, the company’s data-Hoovering is so complete that the ads you see will make you swear that they did.

Anyway, much more at the link.

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