Meta wants to use our data to train its AI: you can choose whether to give consent or not

From the June 26, 2024 will come into force new privacy policy of Half which will allow the tech giant to use i public user data For train its generative artificial intelligence. The news was communicated by Meta via an email sent to users residing throughout thegeographical area of ​​Europe. This consent is automatically granted if you do nothing; to avoid granting it, Meta provides a specific online form. The collection of data by Meta, at least for the moment, should only concern Facebook and Instagram users (and not those who use WhatsApp) who will not use the form in question.
Many interpret this story as a risk for the privacy of European users, even assuming that the new policy does not violate the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, i.e. the EU data protection regulation). The association Noybfor example, reported Meta to 11 European privacy authorities, including the Italian one.

What data will be used by Meta and what does it intend to do with it

Meta has stated that it intends to use i public data, i.e. those publicly visible by other users. The giant did not clarify what public data it will use, but it was clear that will not use private data (for example the contents of private chats, or any information that cannot be visible to other users).

But exactly what Meta intends to do with user data? According to the email sent to its European users, the tech giant says it wants to “expand our AI in Meta experiences to your geographic area” and “to allow you to live these experiences, from now on we will rely on legal basis called legitimate interest for the use of your information to develop and improve Meta's AI”. Meta essentially states that from next June 26th it will use decades of posts to fuel its generative artificial intelligence and, what's more, without paying a cent for the data it will use for free.

Not only. By referring to the “legal basis called legitimate interest”, Meta will not have to wait for users to consent to the collection of their data, as it takes it for granted that they want to live new experiences based on AI by giving up everything they have made public on Facebook and Instagram. In fact, it is in the case in which they do not want to join the initiative that they must make an explicit request (and we will soon see how).

All data shared publicly on Facebook and Instagram is taken into consideration by Meta. In fact, in a press release, the company explains:

Since a large amount of data is needed to obtain effective models, a combination of sources is used for training. We use publicly available online data and licensed information. Furthermore, we use information shared in Meta Products and Services, such as posts, photos and related captions. We do not use the contents of private messages you exchange with family and friends to train our artificial intelligences.

Even those who are not registered on a Meta platform may not be excluded from the news, which is even more perplexing. In fact, the press release states:

To train our models we collect public information from the Internet or data licensed from other providers; this information may include personal data. For example, if we collect information from a public blog post, it may include the author's name and contact information. When we receive personal information as part of such public or licensed data that we use to train our models, we do not link this data specifically to any Meta account. Even if you do not use our Products and Services or do not have an account, we may still process your information to develop and improve Meta's AI. For example, this may happen if you are featured in an image shared about our Products or Services by someone who uses them, or if someone mentions information about you in posts or captions they share about our Products and Services.

How to oppose the use of your data by Meta AI: what to write

If you are registered on Facebook and/or Instagram it is possible do not let your data be used for training Meta's AI using a specific online form, which can be reached by clicking on the link right of opposition (present in the email) or by accessing your Facebook/Instagram account (from the browser) and visiting this page (for Facebook) or this other page (for Instagram). Then you need to scroll the page to the bottom and click on the link right to dispute and, then, fill in the proposed form with all the requested information.