Facebook Announces Plan to Train AI Using User’s Photos and Posts – Personal Conversations Remain Unaffected

New Facebook Privacy Policy Change Allows AI Training with User Content

Facebook, a popular social media network, has announced modifications to its privacy policy, pertaining to the use of user images and posts for Artificial Intelligence (AI) training. These changes will be operational from June 26, 2024.

According to PCWorld, as of the mentioned date, Facebook messages, images and other public content of millions of users will automatically be accessible for the neural network analysis of Meta – the parent company of Facebook. The goal of this move is to enhance the efficiency of generative AI tools. However, private messages and correspondence will not be used; access to them remains restricted.

This maneuver from Facebook was expected by industry experts, as the company, led by Mark Zuckerberg, has been steadily increasing its investment in AI technologies that require massive data sets for training.

Controversy Surrounding the Policy Change

The new policy implies that Facebook now has access to people’s information without their explicit consent, sparking concerns among users. Despite the company’s claim that the change benefits both Facebook and its users, it has attracted criticism from a section of the social network’s audience.

In response, Meta emphasizes that every user has the “right to object”, exercisable through a special form available on the help page. The form requires users to provide their information and the reason for objection. Meta is then obligated to review objections in compliance with existing data protection legislation. Regardless, even if objections are approved, Facebook still retains the right to utilize data segments for AI training — for instance, content shared or mentioned by other users.

The use of social network members’ posts for AI training could have been anticipated as early as the end of last year. However, the groundbreaking, sweeping agreement comes into effect for the first time.

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