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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Meta's AI Bot Halted by European Regulators

Image credits: Muhammad Asyfaul / Unsplash

Meta has hit a regulatory roadblock in Europe, putting the brakes on its AI assistant plans.


The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has asked Meta to delay training its large language models using publicly posted content from Facebook and Instagram. This decision has left Meta feeling "disappointed," especially since they believed they had incorporated regulatory feedback and kept European Data Protection Authorities in the loop since March.


In an effort to comply with European privacy laws, Meta had started notifying European users about data collection and offered an opt-out option. However, the DPC's request, bolstered by a campaign from the advocacy group NOYB, has thrown a spanner in the works. NOYB's founder, Max Schrems, argues that Meta's approach to data collection is far from GDPR-compliant, likening it to a free-for-all with user data.


 

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Meta's blog post points out that competitors like Google and OpenAI have already used data from Europeans to train their AI models. They argue that without local information, they can only offer a "second-rate experience," making it impossible to launch Meta AI in Europe for now.


European regulators, however, are pleased with the pause. Stephen Almond, the executive director of regulatory risk at the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, welcomed Meta's decision to reflect on user concerns and pause their plans.


The DPC's intervention followed NOYB's filing of 11 complaints against Meta across various European countries. Schrems highlighted that Meta's broad data usage claims are at odds with GDPR compliance, stating, "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."


For now, it looks like Meta's AI assistant will have to wait its turn in Europe, as the debate over data privacy and AI continues to heat up. Stay tuned, property professionals and business owners, for more twists and turns in this regulatory saga!



 

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