Meta AI Faces 11 Complaints Over Personal Data Usage

Meta AI, previously known as Facebook, is once again under scrutiny for its handling of personal data. Facing 11 complaints regarding privacy concerns, the tech giant finds itself at the center of yet another heated debate. Let’s delve into the latest developments surrounding Meta AI and its data usage practices.


Meta’s Policy Change and Its Implications

Meta, the tech giant behind popular platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, has recently introduced significant changes to its privacy policies. These changes, which will come into effect on June 26, 2024, grant Meta the ability to use all user data for training its AI technologies. The policy shift has sparked significant controversy and opposition, especially from privacy advocate groups.

Privacy Group noyb’s Stance

One of the most vocal opponents of Meta’s new data usage policy is the privacy advocacy group noyb (none of your business). Upon scrutinizing the new terms, noyb discovered that Meta intends to leverage extensive user data for purposes beyond targeted advertising. Max Schrems of noyb stated, « Meta essentially claims it can use any data from any source for any purpose and share it globally, provided it is done through ‘AI technology’. »

Details of the Complaints

In response to Meta’s updated policy, noyb has filed eleven complaints across Europe. These complaints were lodged in countries including Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, and Poland. The complaints urge authorities to initiate emergency procedures to halt the policy change before it becomes effective.

« It clearly violates the GDPR. The term ‘AI technology’ is extremely broad, as is ‘using your data in databases’, but Meta doesn’t specify how the data will be used. It could range from a simple chatbot to highly aggressive targeted ads or even more concerning uses, » explained Schrems.

User Data at Stake

Meta’s new policy will encompass personal posts, photos, images, and online tracking data. Only private messages sent between users are exempt from this policy. According to noyb, « Instead of obtaining user consent (opt-in), Meta claims a legitimate interest that overrides the fundamental right to data protection and privacy for European users. Once data is in the system, users seem to have no option to delete it (‘right to be forgotten’). »

The Artist Community’s Response

Creatives and artists have also reacted strongly to Meta’s policy changes. Many artists, particularly those reliant on platforms like Instagram, are concerned about their data being used without explicit consent. This has led to a surge in popularity for alternative platforms such as Cara, which has quickly grown from 40,000 to 650,000 users, entering the top downloaded apps on the App Store.

Cara, founded by Singaporean photographer Jingna Zhang, positions itself as a blend of Instagram and X, tailored for artists and creatives. The platform allows users to post regularly and maintain a portfolio, offering a haven from the intrusion of AI-generated content in the art world.

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