Meta responds to EU calls to stop using personal data in AI models

Irish request causes Meta to suspend the deployment of its AI models in Europe
Irish request causes Meta to suspend the deployment of its AI models in Europe

On Thursday, the advocacy group NOYB called on privacy authorities around Europe to stop using personal data for AI model training without permission, criticizing Meta and launching a new tab proposal.

Advocacy group NOYB criticized Meta (META.O) and opened a new tab proposal on Thursday, calling on privacy enforcers around Europe to halt the use of personal data for training AI models without obtaining authorization. With recent modifications to Meta’s privacy policy going into effect on June 26, NOYB (none of your businesses) asked national privacy watchdogs to take quick action. According to NOYB, Meta will be able to access years’ worth of personal posts, private photographs, or online tracking data for the Facebook owner’s AI technology.

The advocacy organization said that in light of the impending changes, it has filed eleven complaints against Meta and requested that an urgent procedure be started by the data protection authorities in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Spain. Rejecting NOYB’s criticism, Meta pointed to a blog post from May 22 in which it stated that it trains AI using information that is licensed and freely available online, as well as information that users have shared about its products and services.

In a statement distributed to Facebook users, Meta stated that even in cases where a person’s name appears in a picture or is mentioned in a post or caption shared by another user, Meta may nevertheless process information about individuals who neither use its services nor have an account. “We are confident that our approach complies with privacy laws, and our approach is consistent with how other tech companies are developing and improving their AI experiences in Europe (including Google and Open AI),” said a spokeswoman.

Due to alleged violations of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which carries fines of up to 4% of a company’s total worldwide turnover, NOYB has already filed multiple complaints against Meta and other big tech corporations. In the past, Meta has claimed a rightful purpose for utilizing user data in the development and training of its generative AI models and other tools, which it may distribute to outside parties. In a statement, NOYB founder Max Schrems stated that the European Court of Justice had already made a ruling on this matter in 2021. “The European Court of Justice (CJEU) has already made it clear that Meta has no ‘legitimate interest’ to override users’ right to data protection when it comes to advertising,” he stated.

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