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Sonos temporarily halts advertising on Facebook, Google

In a small protest over whether Silicon Valley is doing enough to safeguard customers' privacy, the audio company is briefly cutting off advertising to several digital tech platforms.

The Alexa-enabled Sonos One smart speaker.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Calling it a small gesture, Sonos has announced that in response to the recent revelations about how Cambridge Analytica was allowed to exploit millions of Facebook users' data, it's suspending all of its digital advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube and Twitter for a week. 

The smart speaker company will also "go dark" on its Facebook and Instagram social accounts next week "in solidarity with those seeking to build a healthier, more consumer-friendly tech ecosystem."

Instead of paying for advertising on those platforms, Sonos will make a donation to support RightsCon, a digital rights conference created by its Listen Better grantee Access Now.

"We think it's important for those involved in creating tech to listen to the voices of those that are impacted by it, including the most marginalized, such as human rights defenders, LGBT people and people of color," a Sonos spokesperson said on Friday. "RightsCon is a forum that enables exactly that type of listening -- and ultimately, action."

Why is Sonos suspending advertising to those platforms for only a week if it's so concerned? Apparently they're too important to its business.

"Despite the flaws of these massive digital networks, we fundamentally believe in the power of technology to bring us together and to create deeper, shared experiences," the company wrote in a blog post. "We have found Facebook, Instagram and other online platforms to be incredibly effective ways to reach our customers and to share our mission as a company -- not to mention stay in touch with friends and family in our personal lives. But there's plenty of room for evolution."

Also on Friday, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk deleted his personal Facebook account as well as those of his companies. On Thursday, Mozilla announced it was suspending advertising on Facebook, also citing data privacy concerns.

So far the Cambridge Analytica scandal has triggered multiple government investigations, the suspension of Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix, calls for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress and a viral push to delete Facebook

Zuckerberg finally addressed the scandal on Wednesday, admitting his company had made mistakes.