Instagram is not spying on its users conversations, according to the social media company's chief.
In an interview on Tuesday with CBS, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri told CBS This Morning host Gayle King that Instagram was not listening to private conversations in order to tailor user advertisements.
"We don't look at your messages, we don't listen in on your microphone," Mosseri said. "Doing so would be super problematic for a lot of different reasons."
Mosseri acknowledged that his story was hard to believe.
"I recognize you're not going to really believe me" Mosseri told King, who had repeatedly questioned the Instagram chief about how users would receive advertisements for products they had spoken about aloud but had never searched.
Mosseri provided two potential explanations as to why users received ads for products and stores that they believed to have only disclosed in private.
"There's two ways it could happen. One is dumb luck, which can happen." Mosseri said. "Repeatedly," King interjected.
"The second is you might be talking about something because it's top of mind, because you've been interacting with that type of content more recently," he continued. "I think this kind of thing happens often in a way that's really subtle," he later said.
Over the course of the interview, which is released in full on Wednesday, Mosseri was also asked about "deepfakes," videos that are altered to make it appear that an individual did something different or in a different manner than what actually occurred. Often, the videos are very realistic, making it difficult to some viewers to distinguish between the fabricated and original footage.
Recently, a deepfake video of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was posted to Instagram that appeared to show Zuckerberg admitting to being in possession of stolen user data. The account that posted the video disclosed that it was fabricated.
In response to questions over the removal of deepfakes on the platform, Mosseri said the company was working on developing a criterion for removal, though it would not remove the video of Zuckerberg.
"We are not going to make a one-off decision to take a piece of video down just because it's of Mark and Mark happens to run this place. That would be really inappropriate and irresponsible," he said. "We need to have defined principles and we need to be transparent about those principles."