Signal tries to show how much data Facebook collects, gets banned from the platform instead

The Facebook logo on a blue white and black background

Facebook and Signal have been in a battle ever since the former decided to alter WhatsApp's privacy policy to collect and share data with Facebook. This move saw users ditch WhatsApp in favour of apps like Telegram and Signal, forcing Facebook to delay the enforcement of its new privacy terms.

Soon after that, Signal decided to take the battle directly to Facebook but was shot down in the process. In a new blog post, Signal claims that it decided to run a series of honest ads showcasing the amount of data Facebook collects from its users. Instead, Facebook decided to disable Signal's ad account even before the ads reached it target audience.

Signal ad campaign
Source: Signal

The idea behind these ads was to target very specific users through Facebook's tools that take advantage of the enormous data collected by the company. In case you don't know, Facebook and Instagram share the same ad platform so companies can access a variety of data collected from both the platforms. These include basic details like age, gender, location but also includes granular data like the brands you follow, your relationship status, recent activities and more. This data allowed Signal to create very specific ads targeting people who, for example liked K-pop, are chemical engineer and live in Berlin. Signal created these ads in an effort to raise awareness towards Facebook's data collection practices.

We created a multi-variant targeted ad designed to show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access to. The ad would simply display some of the information collected about the viewer which the advertising platform uses.

Unfortunately, Facebook did not like this intrusion and immediately disabled Signal's ad accounts. Signal further noted that Facebook "is more than willing to sell visibility into people’s lives, unless it’s to tell people about how their data is being used."

Signal ad campaign
Source: Signal

Signal is not the only company trying to expose Facebook's practices. Recently, Facebook and Apple had a very public brawl after Apple decided to let users decide if they want to be tracked online. While the issue affected all the companies, Facebook was very vocal about the issue and even threatened to charge users if they don't opt in.

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