Meta Stops The Launch of AI Models Across Europe Due To an Irish Request

Meta Stops The Launch of AI Models Across Europe Due To an Irish Request

Meta Platforms will not launch its Meta AI models in Europe for the time being after being ordered by the Irish privacy regulator to postpone its proposal to collect data from Facebook and Instagram users, the US social media giant said on Friday.

Meta’s move followed complaints and a call by advocacy organization NOYB to data protection authorities in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Spain to take action against the corporation.

The issue is Meta’s intention to use personal data to train its artificial intelligence (AI) models without requesting consent, despite the fact that the business has said that it will use publicly available and licensed online material.

Meta said on Friday that the Irish privacy watchdog had urged it to postpone training its large language models (LLMs) using public content published by Facebook and Instagram adult users.

“We’re disappointed by the request from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), our lead regulator, on behalf of the European DPAs … particularly since we incorporated regulatory feedback and the European DPAs have been informed since March,” the company said in an updated blogpost.

It stated that the Irish request is a step back for European innovation and competition in AI development.

“Put simply, without including local information we’d only be able to offer people a second-rate experience. This means we aren’t able to launch Meta AI in Europe at the moment,” Meta said.

The DPC welcomed Meta’s delay, citing extensive consultation with the regulator.

Meta stated that the delayed release of its AI models would also allow company to respond to demands from the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The ICO applauded Meta’s action and stated that it would continue to watch significant generative AI firms, including Meta, to examine the safeguards they have in place and ensure that UK users’ information rights are safeguarded.

Max Schrems, chair of the NOYB, ascribed Meta’s temporary suspension to concerns made by the group last week.

“So far there is no official change of the Meta privacy policy, which would make this commitment legally binding. The cases we filed are ongoing and will need a determination,” he said in a statement.