NIXSolutions: Meta Suspends EU and UK User Data for AI Training

Meta has decided to suspend the use of EU and UK user data to train its artificial intelligence systems. This decision follows pressure from regulators, specifically the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).


Regulatory Pressure and Privacy Concerns

The DPC, which serves as the main regulator for Meta within the European Union, and acts on behalf of data protection authorities across all EU countries, along with the ICO, have asked Meta to halt the use of user data until the situation is clarified. This move comes amid growing concerns over user privacy and data protection.

Previously, Meta had begun notifying users about changes to its privacy policy that would allow the company to use public content from Facebook and Instagram for AI training purposes. This content includes comments, photos, statuses, and other user-generated data. However, these plans were met with significant backlash from privacy watchdog NOYB, which filed 11 complaints across EU countries, alleging that Meta’s actions violate the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Specifically, NOYB pointed out that Meta did not seek user consent but merely informed users about the impending changes.

Meta has defended its actions by citing the GDPR’s “legitimate interests” provision, arguing that this justifies their data usage plans. Nevertheless, regulators have expressed concerns about the complexity and lack of transparency in the process, suggesting that a pause on these plans is necessary.

Meta’s Response and Future Updates

In response to the regulatory pressure, Meta has officially confirmed the suspension of data use for AI training in the EU and UK. A company spokesperson expressed disappointment, stating that this suspension represents a setback for AI development in Europe. Despite this, Meta maintains that its approach is legitimate and claims to be more transparent compared to other technology companies, notes NIXSolutions.

We’ll keep you updated on any further developments regarding this situation. As Meta navigates these regulatory challenges, the future of AI training and data usage in Europe remains uncertain.