Sunday, July 21, 2024

How to opt out of Meta’s AI training

Computer scienceHow to opt out of Meta's AI training

Internet data scraping is one of the biggest fights in AI right now. Tech companies argue that anything on the public internet is fair game, but they are facing a barrage of lawsuits over their data practices and copyright. It will likely take years until clear rules are in place. 

In the meantime, they are running out of training data to build even bigger, more powerful models, and to Meta, your posts are a gold mine. 

If you’re uncomfortable with having Meta use your personal information and intellectual property to train its AI models in perpetuity, consider opting out. Although Meta does not guarantee it will allow this, it does say it will “review objection requests in accordance with relevant data protection laws.” 

What that means for US users

Users in the US or other countries without national data privacy laws don’t have any foolproof ways to prevent Meta from using their data to train AI, which has likely already been used for such purposes. Meta does not have an opt-out feature for people living in these places. 

A spokesperson for Meta says it does not use the content of people’s private messages to each other to train AI. However, public social media posts are seen as fair game and can be hoovered up into AI training data sets by anyone. Users who don’t want that can set their account settings to private to minimize the risk. 

The company has built in-platform tools that allow people to delete their personal information from chats with Meta AI, the spokesperson says.

How users in Europe and the UK can opt out 

Users in the European Union and the UK, which are protected by strict data protection regimes, have the right to object to their data being scraped, so they can opt out more easily. 

If you have a Facebook account:

1. Log in to your account. You can access the new privacy policy by following this link. At the very top of the page, you should see a box that says “Learn more about your right to object.” Click on that link, or here. 

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