After Instagram (and Facebook) recently put out notifications in the app stating that they wanted access to your data to “Help keep Instagram free of charge“, I stumbled across an experiment by the folks over at Signal. Now, Signal is obviously a competitor to Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp – at least as far as their messaging abilities go – but the results of that experiment are quite interesting.
They involve the personal data collected by Facebook and the services it owns and how it’s used for advertising. It allows you to target ads very specifically. This isn’t really news, as this prank from 2014 illustrates hilariously. But what is interesting is that you’re not allowed to know how and why you were targeted to see a specific ad.