In a recent development, Meta has decided to halt its plans to utilize personal data for training its artificial intelligence technology in Europe. This decision comes after the social media giant faced privacy complaints from a Vienna-based privacy campaign group in 11 European countries. The group, known as the European Center for Digital Rights or Noyb, raised concerns regarding Meta’s planned privacy policy change. They argued that it would enable the “unlawful” use of personal data to train unspecified current and future AI technology.

Noyb revealed that Meta intended to utilize both public and non-public user data collected since 2007 for its AI technology. This revelation prompted the privacy group to take action by filing complaints with data protection authorities across Europe. Their objective was to block Meta’s new privacy policy, set to take effect in late June, and to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) acknowledged Meta’s decision to pause its data usage plans for training its large language model using public content shared by adults on Facebook and Instagram across the EU/EEA. Following intense discussions with Meta, the DPC expressed its approval of the temporary halt. However, they emphasized the need for continued engagement with Meta and other EU data protection authorities.

Although Noyb’s founder, Max Schrems, welcomed Meta’s decision to pause its data use for AI training, he highlighted the importance of monitoring the situation closely. He pointed out that until there is an official change in Meta’s privacy policy, the commitment to pause data usage may not be legally binding. As the legal cases filed by Noyb against tech giants continue, it remains to be seen how regulatory authorities will respond.

Noyb has been actively involved in advocating for data privacy rights since 2018, particularly in light of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. By challenging tech giants and raising awareness about potential privacy breaches, Noyb plays a crucial role in holding companies accountable for their data practices.

Meta’s decision to pause its data use for AI training in response to privacy complaints highlights the ongoing importance of protecting user data and upholding privacy regulations in the digital age. As technology continues to advance, it is essential for both companies and regulators to work together to ensure the ethical and transparent handling of personal information.


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