Meta hit with 11 complaints in EU for using personal data to train AI models

07 June,2024 01:00 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  IANS

The complaints against Meta were filed in -- Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Spain

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Eleven complaints were filed against Meta (formerly Facebook) in European countries on Thursday over proposed changes that would allow the company to use personal data to train its artificial intelligence (AI) models without seeking consent, potentially violating European Union (EU) privacy rules.

Advocacy group NOYB (None of Your Business) filed these complaints and has called on national privacy watchdogs to take immediate action to stop Meta from using years of personal posts, private images, or online tracking data for its AI technology.

NOYB raised concerns about recent changes in tech giant Meta's privacy policy, which are set to take effect on June 26.

The complaints were filed in -- Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Spain.

"Meta is basically saying that it can use 'any data from any source for any purpose and make it available to anyone in the world', as long as it's done via 'AI technology'. This is clearly the opposite of GDPR compliance," NOYB founder Max Schrems, said in a statement.

"Meta does not say what it will use the data for, so it could either be a simple chatbot, extremely aggressive personalised advertising or even a killer drone. Meta also says that user data can be made available to any 'third party' - which means anyone in the world," he added.

NOYB has already filed several complaints against Meta and other Big Tech companies for allegedly violating the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation allows fines of up to 4 per cent of a company's total global turnover for violations.

Meta claims it has a legitimate interest in using users' data to train and develop its generative AI models and other AI tools, which can be shared with third parties.

Schrems mentioned that Europe's top court had ruled on the issue in 2021.

"The European Court of Justice has already made it clear that Meta has no 'legitimate interest' to override users' right to data protection when it comes to advertising," Schrems said.

"Yet the company is trying to use the same arguments for the training of undefined 'AI technology'. It seems that Meta is once again blatantly ignoring the judgements of the CJEU," he added.

NOYB mentioned that it plans to file complaints in the remaining EU Member States in the coming days.

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