Meta's AI Training Plans Using Personal Data Without Consent Sparks Legal Action Across Europe

Team FS


Key Points

  1. NOYB's Call to Action: NOYB urges European privacy watchdogs to intervene against Meta's new privacy policy allowing AI training on personal data without consent.
  2. Meta's Defense: Meta defends its practices, claiming compliance with privacy laws and alignment with industry standards.
  3. Legal Precedents: NOYB references a 2021 CJEU ruling, arguing that Meta lacks legitimate interest to override user data protection rights.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is facing significant legal challenges across Europe due to its latest privacy policy changes, which allow the use of personal data for training artificial intelligence (AI) models without explicit user consent. The advocacy group NOYB (None of Your Business) has spearheaded the opposition, launching complaints in multiple countries and calling for immediate intervention from national privacy watchdogs.

NOYB's Legal Challenge

On June 6, 2024, NOYB announced its initiative to combat Meta's new policy, which is set to come into effect on June 26, 2024. NOYB argues that Meta's approach infringes on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which mandates explicit consent for the use of personal data.

Countries Involved

NOYB has filed complaints in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Spain. The urgency procedure requested by NOYB aims to halt Meta's implementation of the new policy before it can take effect.

Meta's Privacy Policy Changes

Meta's policy update has sparked controversy due to its broad implications for user data. The changes would permit Meta to leverage years of personal posts, private images, and online tracking data to enhance its AI technologies.

Meta's Justification

Meta defends its policy by stating that it uses publicly available online information and licensed data, as well as publicly shared information on its platforms, to train its AI models. The company asserts that its practices are in line with industry standards followed by other tech giants like Google and OpenAI.

User Data and AI Training

The core of NOYB's argument is the unauthorized use of personal data. Meta's policy indicates that even individuals who do not use its services or have an account may have their information processed if they appear in images or posts shared by users.

SEBI's Position

A SEBI spokesperson emphasized that Meta's approach is compliant with existing privacy laws and consistent with industry norms in Europe. However, NOYB contends that this policy shift overlooks crucial legal precedents and user rights.

Legal Precedents and GDPR Compliance

NOYB's founder, Max Schrems, highlights a 2021 ruling by the European Court of Justice (CJEU), which determined that Meta (formerly Facebook) cannot claim a 'legitimate interest' to override user data protection rights for advertising purposes. Schrems argues that Meta is now attempting to use similar justifications for AI training, a move he describes as a blatant disregard for the CJEU's judgment.

Opt-In Consent vs. Opt-Out Mechanisms

Schrems criticizes Meta's reliance on opt-out mechanisms, which he claims are overly complicated and obscure. According to GDPR, companies are required to obtain explicit opt-in consent for using personal data, rather than placing the burden on users to opt-out.

Broader Implications for AI and Data Privacy

The dispute between NOYB and Meta underscores broader concerns about data privacy and AI development. As AI technologies become more sophisticated and pervasive, the ethical and legal frameworks governing their use are increasingly scrutinized.

Industry Standards and Practices

Meta's defense rests on the claim that its practices are consistent with those of other tech companies. However, the scrutiny from NOYB and other privacy advocates suggests that the industry may need to adopt more stringent consent mechanisms to protect user data adequately.

Future Outlook and Potential Outcomes

The outcome of this legal challenge could have far-reaching implications for Meta and other tech companies operating in Europe. If privacy watchdogs uphold NOYB's complaints, it could force Meta to revise its data practices significantly and set a precedent for future AI and data privacy regulations.

Enforcement and Penalties

Under GDPR, violations can lead to fines of up to 4% of a company's global turnover. For Meta, this could translate into substantial financial penalties, alongside reputational damage and operational disruptions.

Compliance and User Trust

Moving forward, Meta and other tech companies will need to navigate the delicate balance between innovation and compliance. Ensuring transparent and ethical data practices will be crucial in maintaining user trust and avoiding legal entanglements.


The clash between NOYB and Meta over the use of personal data for AI training highlights the ongoing tension between technological advancement and data privacy rights. As the debate unfolds, it will serve as a critical test of the robustness of Europe's data protection framework and its ability to safeguard individual privacy in the age of AI. Meta's next steps will be closely watched by regulators, industry peers, and privacy advocates alike, as they could shape the future landscape of data privacy and AI development.

Also Read : SEBI Issues Administrative Warning to ICICI Bank Over Inappropriate Delisting Outreach

Join our Telegram Channel and WhatsApp Channel for regular Updates.

Related News
onlyfans leakedonlyfan leaksonlyfans leaked videos