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My husband got this ad on Instagram this morning. It is the VERY pot of ice cream, the VERY flavour that we bought yesterday afternoon on a whim and ate at the end of our dinner.

How can you reach this level of accuracy in targeting without actively spying on your users? It's making us freaking out right now... What could be the weak link that makes it possible to match our grocery purchases with a profile? How much data do they own?

(Also, targeted advertising is SO bad. "You bought this! Here's an ad in case you want more, regardless of any context!")

@hugh nope... N26. We are now trying to fathom how they could have access to our shopping list and how this could make its way to Instagram.

@mcpaccard oh of course, they shouldn't know *what* you bought, even though they know where & when you shopped. Some kind of tracker picking up a mobile phone mac address?

@hugh we are actually wondering if it's due to a very intricate tracking system or just because Instagram is listening to us. I've gotten a lot of "anime" adverts recently, I was wondering why. Turns out that these 2 weeks we have been fostering a doggo named "Tokyo" and I keep on repeating this name, obviously. This is the only coincidence I could see, nothing else has changed in my behaviour recently and I've not been doing anything related to anime culture.

@mcpaccard that fits what other people have said about FB-owned ads for a while. Seems incredibly likely there's a dodgy microphone thing going on.

@hugh a lot of people say it's just a rumour, but on my (slow and old) iPhone, I swear that I've noticed several times the red tab lingering on when closing the Instagram app (if you don't own an iPhone, it indicates that the microphone is on use). Also, they made the mic mandatorily on when you want to add a new story.

@mcpaccard it's not a rummor : Intagram actually listening thru your microphone (I saw the Patent about that years ago). Every time you close Instagram, kill the app and revoke every hardware authorisations (it's easy on Android, I don't know iOS).

@hugh

@ClovisGauzy that's what I think I saw. Microphone authorization is turned off and I'll just use the web interface with an ad blocker, I think. @hugh

@ClovisGauzy @mcpaccard "The systems and methods disclosed herein also help social networking systems gather information about the composing user's interests."

Surely all this this breaches GDPR?

@hugh I don't know. I wish. Even if it does, it's a very thin hope of being able to enter a long and tedious court process that individuals like us are not even guaranteed to win. @ClovisGauzy

@adidal @mcpaccard
Mastercard and Visa sell their databases to databrokers, as well as shopping centers. It's "easy" to merge everything an enrich a profile...

@skynebula @mcpaccard damn then how is it possible to privately buy things online ? i mean everything has to go through credit card nowadays

@adidal @skynebula @mcpaccard

Acheter en ligne de manière anonyme c'est effectivement compliqué...
Donc soit on attends GNU Thaler (qui sortira en même temps que The HURD?) ou on se débrouille avec Monero, soit l'autre solution est d'acheter à son nom mais de faire tout le reste sous pseudo, ainsi ils ont la liste des achats mais ne peuvent la corréler à rien.

@LienRag hé oui ! C'est quand même rageant de devoir déployer des efforts immenses pour pouvoir assurer notre protection basique contre l'aspiration et le croisement de nos données... ça m'inquiète vraiment pour l'avenir de nos libertés, car les personnes les plus vulnérables ne sont pas à même de se protéger de tout ça et seront les premières touchées. @adidal @skynebula

@mcpaccard @adidal @skynebula

D'un autre côté ça s'automatise de plus en plus grâce aux efforts de nombre de personnes différentes...
TorBrowser est devenu très simple d'utilisation en quelques années par exemple.

@adidal @brunpi @mcpaccard Hell yeah. Founded by Peter Thiel, also the founder of Palantir, one of the greatest surveillance companies...

@adidal @skynebula we are really wondering how they could have gained access to this data. Either it's really granular tracking, access to the list of what we bought, or just blatantly listening to our conversations.

@mcpaccard @adidal If there's an Android device near you, they could listen to you (still no proof they really can do it on iOS)

@skynebula @adidal on my (slow and old) iPhone, I swear that I've noticed several times the red tab lingering on when closing the Instagram app (if you don't own an iPhone, it indicates that the microphone is on use). Also, they made the mic mandatorily on when you want to add a new story, even if it's just for a static pic.

@mcpaccard I don't say there is no global spying, but in this very case, couldn't it be a pure coincidence? (I don't have Instagram, so don't have experience of how it works)

@ashledombos it's the first advert from this brand that my husband sees, at least for the past couple of months. We've been fostering a dog named "Tokyo" for the past 2 weeks and this week I kept on getting "anime" games and Japan related adverts. It's a LOT of coincidences :)

@mcpaccard Or is it possible that their algo is getting so « smart » that predictions it makes gets better and better?

@imacrea yup, that’s what we are wondering. Smarter and smarter? Or just spying on us? Maybe both ^^

@mcpaccard Maybe it wasn't the first time he saw that advert, and that's maybe why you ate that ice cream yesterday night. So who comes first, the advert or the purchase? It's all fucked up in any case.

@mcpaccard And a simple way to avoid all that creepy collect of data is to use IG in the browser (no app!) with an ad-blocker :-)

@focus404 that’s a VERY good idea! I use @better on my iOS devices with private browsing on Safari. Yay to friction!

@focus404 we literally bought it because we saw it, and he confirmed it’s been at least more than a month he didn’t see ads for B&J :)

@mcpaccard instagram c'est facebook, facebook écoute les gens qui ont l'appli installée sur leur tél alors pourquoi agiraient-ils différemment avec instagram ? à mon avis c'est "juste" ça... on se balade avec un espion en permanence sur soi =/

après le coup de la saveur de ben&jerry's c'est ptet un peu le hasard vu que c'est leur produit le plus populaire ¯_(ツ)_/¯

@Oz on est maintenant 2 personnes à avoir eu la pub suite à un achat, avec précisément le parfum acheté ^^ ça fait carrément peur. Et je te rejoins sur l’espionnage. Ils vont pas se gêner, c’est clair.

@mcpaccard ah ben si l'autre personne a eu la pub avec un autre parfum ok ils se cachent même plus...

depuis qu'un pote a eu une pub sur fb pour le "spotify des plantes" juste après une balade en forêt ensemble où j'ai dit que ce serait pratique d'avoir un "spotify des plantes" pour se la raconter devant les enfants j'ai plus eu de doute !

@mcpaccard do you use a loyalty card or anything at this shopping place ? I think these kind of things are used to gather data on your purchases, and it would be linked to your name or maybe e-mail adress

@merricat nope, but we use N26, an online bank which credit cards are Mastercard. @skynebula reminded me that Mastercard and Visa sell our shopping data to advertisers :/ I’ll start thinking about paying more with cash!

@mcpaccard either they’re buying purchase data from your credit card company or you’re leaving traces of information somewhere that lets the algorithm figure it out.

To be fair though, cookie dough is a very popular flavor of B&J too, so it might simply be demographic match.

@mariusz yep, might be a startling coincidence :/ I got the ad 2 days later too, a campaign is obviously going on. The flavour guess was just too much for my predictably irrational human brain :D

@mcpaccard Facebook is not listening via your microphone. They know so much about you they don't need to. This just means they know you well enough to predict your behaviour.

@desikn yup... and not having a Facebook account anymore is not even enough to make it harder for them. But I'd say "reacting to" rather than "predicting". They are not that clever yet. The ads are always a mere consequence following a behavior.

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