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Signal's post on Facebook's data collection practices deemed a 'stunt' by the latter

Signal's post on Facebook's data collection practices deemed a 'stunt' by the latter

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Messaging service platform, Signal, has put out a post on its blog and Twitter to show how Facebook collects personal data of users to sell to advertisers. In its blog post, Signal said companies such as Facebook aren’t "building technology for users, but are building technology for users' data".

"[Facebook] collects everything they can from [Facebook], Instagram, and WhatsApp to sell visibility into people and their lives," said the post. It added that while Facebook's operations aren't really a secret, "the full picture is hazy to most – dimly concealed within complex, opaquely-rendered systems and fine print designed to be scrolled past". According to Signal, it initially decided to create a post on Instagram regarding how Facebook collects information about the user but the post was subsequently blocked. As such, Signal took to Twitter to share its view and its post. 

Meanwhile, in a statement to ZDNet, a Facebook spokesperson called Signal's move a "stunt" and said Signal "never even tried to actually run these ads". Meanwhile, Joe Osborne a Facebook spokesperson responded on Signal's tweet that the posts by Signal was from early March and Signal's account was briefly disabled due to payment issues. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Facebook for its response.

Signal's post on Twitter that said:" We wanted to use Instagram ads to highlight how ad tech invades your privacy. Instead, Facebook shut our account down" has gotten 7804 retweets, 931 quote tweets, and 20,000 likes, at the time of writing. In support of its ad, founder of Big Technology, Alex Kantrowitz, said in a tweet: "These Signal ads are amazing. Facebook banned them for being a little bit too relevant." It received 2,016 retweets, 193 quote tweets, 6,760 likes.

Prior to this discussion between Facebook and Signal, in February 2020, Facebook decided to comply with Apple's privacy settings and show its prompt for consumers to gain permission in obtaining their data. Apple's iOS 14 updates include the requirement of apps to ask users for permission to collect and share data using its prompt. This comes even as the social media giant frowns upon Apple's approach, which it claims will hurt small businesses and force them to turn to subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue. In a 1 February update to a blog post first published last December, Facebook said it has decided to comply with Apple to "ensure stability for the businesses and people who use its services".
"We disagree with Apple’s approach and solution, yet we have no choice but to show Apple’s prompt. If we don’t, Apple will block Facebook from the App Store, which would only further harm the people and businesses that rely on our services. We cannot take this risk on behalf of the millions of businesses who use our platform to grow," the post added.
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