Legal complaint against Metas use of personal content for AI training

6. juni, 2024

Meta has announced that it will use its users’ content to train artificial intelligence (AI) models. The Norwegian Consumer Council strongly objects and is filing a legal complaint against the company for violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

In recent days, users of Facebook and Instagram have received notifications from Meta stating that the company will use images, posts, and other user data to train generative AI models.  

If you do not want your content to be included in the training data, you must request to be opted out. However, this process has been made deliberately cumbersome by using deceptive design patterns and vague wording.  

The Consumer Council believes this to be a clear violation of the GDPR and the legal requirements for processing personal data and is consequently filing a legal complaint togehther with noyb  against Meta to the Norwegian Data Protection Authority (Datatilsynet).  

— Meta does not have a valid legal basis to process its users’ personal data to train AI models. Additionally, deliberately making it difficult to opt out is, in our opinion, a clear violation of the legal requirements of the GDPR, says Inger Lise Blyverket, executive director of the Norwegian Consumer Council.

— We are urging the Data Protection Authority to assess the legality of Meta’s practices and to ensure that the company is operating in compliance of the law. This is an urgent matter because there is no way to remove personal data from the AI models once Meta has begun the training.

Mobil med Metas samtykkeløsning.foto
Photo: Colourbox/Forbrukerrådet

— We also urge national and European authorities to make sure that big tech companies are held accountable, especially by ensuring that enforcement authorities are equipped to meet the challenges of artificial intelligence.

The legal complaint was written by noyb – the European Center for Digital Rights – and will be submitted to both the Norwegian Data Protection authority and numerous other data protection authorities across Europe. 

Say no to Meta 

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority has stated that it has the necessary tools to stop Meta if the company’s practices are deemed illegal. The Consumer Council also encourages people to opt out of being part of the training data before the June 26th deadline.  

— Few of us could have expected that photos of our children and families, parties, vacations, and all our status updates would be used to train AI models. It is also deeply problematic that we have no idea how this information and content may be used or affect us in the future, Inger Lise Blyverket says.

— Unfortunately, this far from the first time that Meta has exploited its users’ content. We still remember the Cambridge Analytica scandal, its surveillance-based advertising, and its use of user photos to develop facial recognition technology.

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority has published a guide about how you can opt out of being part of Meta’s training data, for both Facebook and Instagram. 

Bilde av ansatt: Øyvind Herseth Kaldestad.Foto

Øyvind H. Kaldestad

Kommunikasjonsrådgiver – digitale rettigheter og strøm

Legal complaint Meta Press release in Norwegian Abonner på vårt nyhetsvarsel Sjekk Forbrukerrådets podcast

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