In a recent development, Meta has decided to put a halt on its plans to use personal data to train its artificial intelligence technology in Europe. This decision comes after facing privacy complaints from a Vienna-based privacy campaign group. The complaints raised concerns about Meta’s proposed changes to its privacy policy, which were deemed to potentially enable the unlawful use of personal data for training AI technology.

The European Center for Digital Rights, also known as Noyb, filed complaints in 11 European countries against Meta. The group highlighted that Meta’s intended use of both public and non-public user data collected since 2007 for AI technology raised significant privacy issues. As a result, data protection authorities in these countries were urged to investigate and prevent the implementation of Meta’s new privacy policy.

In response to the complaints, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) acknowledged Meta’s decision to pause its AI training plans using public content shared on Facebook and Instagram. The DPC stated that it would work closely with Meta and other EU data protection authorities to address this matter. However, Noyb’s founder, Max Schrems, emphasized the need for a legally binding commitment from Meta regarding its privacy policy changes.

Noyb has a history of initiating legal actions against technology companies to safeguard user privacy rights. Since the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation in 2018, the group has been actively pursuing cases to ensure compliance and accountability from tech giants like Meta. Schrems reiterated the importance of continued monitoring and determination in the ongoing privacy complaints against Meta.

The concerns raised by privacy advocates and regulatory bodies have prompted Meta to reevaluate its approach to using personal data for AI technology training in Europe. While the pause in its plans is a positive step, the need for clear and binding commitments on privacy protection remains paramount. Moving forward, regulatory scrutiny and public awareness will play a crucial role in shaping the ethical and legal framework around data usage by tech companies like Meta.


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