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    Norwegian Consumer Council Files Complaint Against Meta For Training AI Models on User Data

    The Norwegian Consumer Council announced on June 6 that it is filing a legal complaint against Meta over the company’s decision to train its AI models on user data. The social media giant recently announced a change in its privacy policy that would allow it to use public information shared by users to train its generative AI models. The tech giant also presented users with an opt-out process. However, the Consumer Council is contesting this policy change undertaken by Meta, by filing a complaint with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, alongside the privacy rights group None of Your Business (NOYB). According to the Norwegian Consumer Council, Meta does not have the legal basis to process its users’ personal data to train AI models. They also alleged that the opt-out process offered by Meta is confusing and deceptive, resulting in the violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.

    User data to make AI products reach different cultures and communities?

    Earlier in May, Meta stated in a blog post, that it wished to bring its AI products to the diverse cultures and communities in Europe, for which it would need to train its models with data from those particular cultures and communities. The company would be processing publicly available information posts on its platforms, like public posts or public photos and their captions. In the future, the company may also use information shared by people when interacting with AI features or with a business. The processed data would not include private messages, revealed Meta.

    The NOYB complaint, however, sees things differently and presents the following arguments:

    • Meta has no legitimate interest that would allow it to legally override the interests of users and process their data
    • Meta is attempting to process user data for “undefined, broad technical means” like artificial intelligence technology.
    • The company deters data subjects from exercising their right to choose by employing an “opt-out” instead of an “opt-in” model.
    • It fails to present the necessary information in an easily accessible manner in clear language.
    • Meta says that it is not able to properly differentiate between data subjects, whose data it can legally process and subjects whose data it cannot; and data that falls under GDPR Article 9 (sensitive data like political opinions and ethnic identities) and data that does not. 
    • The processing of personal data is irreversible and it is unable to comply with the ‘right to be forgotten.”

    The complaint asks data protection authorities to urgently “assess the legality of Meta’s practices and to ensure that the company is operating in compliance of the law.”

    User data being used for training AI models in India

    Meta’s new privacy policy has been active in India since December last year and Facebook’s Indian privacy policy does state that it processes the public data of users in the country. However, Indian users don’t have the right to opt out of it as the Digital Personal Data Protection Act (DPDP Act, 2023) allows companies to use publicly available personal data without any consent or without adhering to the provisions of the act. 

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    The post Norwegian Consumer Council Files Complaint Against Meta For Training AI Models on User Data appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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