Meta’s AI Arriving in Europe: Privacy Disputes Concealing Copyright Concerns

Meta has recently informed its European users of Instagram and Facebook about an upcoming privacy policy update, coinciding with the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
The company had previously developed AI features and introduced an assistant named "Meta AI," leveraging a large language model called "Llama." 

Meta plans to expand the use of AI in Europe, prompting concerns over privacy and copyright issues.
The updated privacy policy, scheduled to take effect on 26 June 2024, will involve processing user activity and information to enhance AI capabilities for content creation. Legitimate interests under the General Data Protection Technology (GDPR) serve as the legal basis for this. The policy emphasizes utilizing a combination of sources, including publicly available information and licensed data, with private messages excluded. 

Users within the EU have the right to object to their shared information being used for AI development via an online form, although it will only apply to future data processing. 

Following Meta's notifications, the Irish Data Protection Commission and Norwegian Data Privacy Authority raised concerns about the legality of the procedure. Additionally, NOYB, a European non-profit organization, filed complaints against Meta in eleven European countries, alleging violations of GDPR. 

Meta paused its training plans in the EU/EEA following engagement with the Irish DPC but faced criticism over the method of obtaining user consent for AI implementation.
Beyond privacy issues, authors and performers worldwide expressed discontent with Meta's new AI policy, with some considering leaving the platforms. Concerns about the impact of AI technologies on copyright and the remuneration of creators have also been raised. 

Other tech companies, such as Adobe and Open AI, have clarified their approaches to content usage and emphasized the importance of protecting creators' rights in the AI age.
The developments highlight a growing lack of trust in tech companies and their AI tools, as well as a demand for stronger guarantees to protect the interests of authors and performers.
These issues underscore the need to reassess copyright fundamentals and prioritize the protection of intellectual works and creators, amidst concerns that authors and performers may be reduced to mere content creators in the evolving landscape of AI technology.

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