Signal Blog: The Instagram ads Facebook won’t show you

Signal Blog: The Instagram ads Facebook won’t show you. “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. Being transparent about how ads use people’s data is apparently enough to get banned; in Facebook’s world, the only acceptable usage is to hide what you’re doing from your audience. So, here are some examples of the targeted ads that you’ll never see on Instagram. Yours would have been so you.”

Wired: Don’t Buy Into Facebook’s Ad-Tracking Pressure on iOS 14.5

Wired: Don’t Buy Into Facebook’s Ad-Tracking Pressure on iOS 14.5. “For the first time, users can tell apps not to track their activity across different sites and services. In an attempt to dissuade them from doing so, the Facebook and Instagram iOS apps are admonishing users that tracking helps keep those platforms ‘free of charge.’ This is technically true; Facebook is an advertising company that profits from showing ads that its users are more likely to click. But the iOS 14.5 notice also frames the issue in a way that implies Facebook can’t make money if it foregoes this kind of tracking, or worse, that Apple’s App Tracking Transparency update may force the social network to start charging its users a fee. So it’s worth being absolutely clear: Neither of those is the case.”

Wired: The New iOS Update Lets You Stop Ads From Tracking You—So Do It

Wired: The New iOS Update Lets You Stop Ads From Tracking You—So Do It. “IF YOU’RE SICK of opaque ad tracking and don’t feel like you have a handle on it, a new iOS feature promises to give you back some control. With the release of Apple’s iOS 14.5 on Monday, all of your apps will have to ask in a pop-up: Do you want to allow this app to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites? For once, your answer can be no.”

Facebook v Apple: The ad tracking row heats up (BBC)

BBC: Facebook v Apple: The ad tracking row heats up. “A new feature is being introduced to iPhones and iPads this week which is causing a huge rift between Apple and Facebook. It will allow device users to say no to having their data collected by any app. Facebook has been put in a spin by this because user data – and the advertising it can generate – is what makes the company so profitable.”

EFF: Am I FLoCed? A New Site to Test Google’s Invasive Experiment

EFF: Am I FLoCed? A New Site to Test Google’s Invasive Experiment. “Today we’re launching Am I FLoCed, a new site that will tell you whether your Chrome browser has been turned into a guinea pig for Federated Learning of Cohorts or FLoC, Google’s latest targeted advertising experiment. If you are a subject, we will tell you how your browser is describing you to every website you visit. Am I FLoCed is one of an effort to bring to light the invasive practices of the adtech industry—Google included—with the hope we can create a better internet for all, where our privacy rights are respected regardless of how profitable they may be to tech companies.”

The Verge: Google reportedly ran secret ‘Project Bernanke’ that boosted its own ad-buying system over competitors

The Verge: Google reportedly ran secret ‘Project Bernanke’ that boosted its own ad-buying system over competitors. “Google wrote in the unredacted filing that data from Project Bernanke was ‘comparable to data maintained by other buying tools,’ according to the Journal. The company was able to access historical data about bids made through Google Ads, to change bids by its clients and boost the clients’ chances of winning auctions for ad impressions, putting rival ad tools at a disadvantage. Texas cited in court documents an internal presentation from 2013 in which Google said Project Bernanke would bring in $230 million in revenue for that year.”

MIT Technology Review: Facebook’s ad algorithms are still excluding women from seeing jobs

MIT Technology Review: Facebook’s ad algorithms are still excluding women from seeing jobs. “Facebook is withholding certain job ads from women because of their gender, according to the latest audit of its ad service. The audit, conducted by independent researchers at the University of Southern California (USC), reveals that Facebook’s ad-delivery system shows different job ads to women and men even though the jobs require the same qualifications. This is considered sex-based discrimination under US equal employment opportunity law, which bans ad targeting based on protected characteristics. The findings come despite years of advocacy and lawsuits, and after promises from Facebook to overhaul how it delivers ads.”

Interlochen Public Radio: Misleading social media ads bash a rooftop solar bill. They’re backed by big utility companies.

Interlochen Public Radio: Misleading social media ads bash a rooftop solar bill. They’re backed by big utility companies.. “Anyone scrolling Facebook in Michigan over the past week may have noticed ads attacking a new energy bill in the statehouse. The proposed legislation would allow more people to put solar panels on their homes or businesses. It gets rid of a cap limiting how many solar installations can connect to the grid. Social media ads say the proposal caters to out-of-state energy developers and threatens a reliable power grid. One of the ads reads, ‘Don’t let out-of-state special interests do to Michigan what they did to Texas.’ Clean energy advocates say the ads are misleading.

The Guardian: Web giants must stop cashing in on pension scam misery, say MPs

The Guardian: Web giants must stop cashing in on pension scam misery, say MPs. “Ministers must force tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft to stop the ‘immoral’ practice of profiting from the £10bn of pension fraud committed by internet scammers, a committee of MPs has urged. Fraudsters use online advertisements, mostly on Google, to trick people out of their pension funds, according to a report published by the work and pensions select committee, but regulators are ‘powerless’ to hold the internet firms to account.”

Here’s what you need to know about FLoC: Google’s alternative to individual tracking (Neowin)

Neowin: Here’s what you need to know about FLoC: Google’s alternative to individual tracking. “Google made some waves earlier this week when it boasted that it will soon stop tracking individuals via ads and their browsing activities. Many have understandably been wary about this announcement and believe that there must be a loophole which will still allow Google to track you and present you targeted ads. As usual, it is important to look past the headlines, as the devil is in the details. In this piece, we will take a look at what Google is proposing as an alternative to its usual tracking capabilities.”

MIT Technology Review: How to poison the data that Big Tech uses to surveil you

MIT Technology Review: How to poison the data that Big Tech uses to surveil you. “In 2019 Kashmir Hill, then a reporter for Gizmodo, famously tried to cut five major tech giants out of her life. She spent six weeks being miserable, struggling to perform basic digital functions. The tech giants, meanwhile, didn’t even feel an itch. Now researchers at Northwestern University are suggesting new ways to redress this power imbalance by treating our collective data as a bargaining chip. Tech giants may have fancy algorithms at their disposal, but they are meaningless without enough of the right data to train on.”

AFP: Google flags higher ad rates in France, Spain after digital tax

AFP: Google flags higher ad rates in France, Spain after digital tax. “Google has told customers that it will raise the rates for advertisements on its French and Spanish platforms by two percent from May to help offset the impact of a digital tax on profits. France has collected the levy since 2019, and Spain since this year, under pressure from voters to make US tech giants pay a greater share of taxes in countries where they operate.”

Politico: Scores of political groups sidestepped Facebook’s ad ban

Politico: Scores of political groups sidestepped Facebook’s ad ban. “Political campaigns are cheering the return of political ads to Facebook this week. But some groups never stopped running them. Scores of right- and left-wing political groups purchased tens of thousands of dollars in political ads that broke the company’s rules between January and March this year, according to an analysis by POLITICO.”