Europe Demands Answers! Meta Faces EU Privacy Complaints Over AI 

  • By Farrukh Mushtaq

    Farrukh Mushtaq

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    Farrukh Mushtaq, a digital marketer at PureSquare, possesses a keen interest in cybersecurity and enjoys writing about it. With several years of experience in the digital marketing industry, he brings expertise and passion to his work.

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  • 11 June 2024
  • 7 mins read

Table of Content

Table of Contents

Meta, previously known as Facebook, has recently been attacked in Europe for privacy concerns surrounding AI plans. 

The company's extensive artificial intelligence plans have created worry among European authorities and privacy activists forcing a closer look at the potential impact on user data security. 

Privacy Nightmare or Sci-Fi Dream? 

The privacy support group Noyb submitted complaints against Meta in 11 European nations. They say that Meta's upcoming privacy policy changes will allow them to access user data (both public and private) for undisclosed AI purposes, without user agreement. 

This contradicts the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which demands transparency and user control over data use. 

Noyb has asked data protection authorities to pause and study the policy before it takes effect at the end of June.

According to Max Schrems, the creator of Noyb, the new policy is:

"This is clearly the opposite of GDPR compliance". 

He criticises Meta's lack of transparency over how it plans on using the data, stating, 

"Meta doesn't say what it will use the data for, so it could be a simple chatbot, extremely aggressive personalised advertising, or even a killer drone." 

This shows Noyb's worry that the policy lets Meta make extensive and perhaps dangerous uses of user data without enough user consent.

Europe Scrutinizes Meta's Practices

The European regulatory response to Meta's AI plans and related privacy complaints has been immediate and strong. 

European authorities have closely observed the scenario and are in contact with Meta to resolve the privacy concerns highlighted by regulators and users. 

This regulatory response has focused on improved transparency, accountability, and data protection measures. Meta is asked to disclose specific insights into how its AI technologies are developed, implemented, and monitored for compliance with privacy standards. 

As regulatory scrutiny improves, Meta is under increasing pressure to work with European authorities and actively manage the privacy implications of its AI aspirations to ensure compliance with regional data protection laws and regulations.

The EU executive said in a statement:

"The Commission is concerned that the systems of both Facebook and Instagram, including their algorithms, may stimulate behavioural addictions in children, as well as create so-called 'rabbit-hole effects',"

Is the Irish DPC Protecting User Data, or Meta's Business?

According to reports, Meta's improvements to its privacy policies have been supported by agreements with the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), raising concerns about regulatory supervision.

Additional allegations include Meta's failing to distinguish between GDPR-protected and non-protected user data, as well as alleged violations of GDPR principles, transparency regulations, and operational standards.

Wake Up Call to All Tech Leaders!

Meta's ambitious foray into AI has hit a roadblock in Europe. 

Privacy concerns, fueled by a lack of transparency about data usage, have triggered user complaints and a swift response from regulators.

This isn't just a minor bump in the road – it's a wake-up call for Meta. To make its AI aspirations a reality in Europe, the company faces a critical crossroads.