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Brazil Joins Europe in Blocking Meta’s AI Training Using Public Posts

 |  July 9, 2024

Following Europe’s lead, Brazil has officially blocked Meta from utilizing public posts on social media platforms to train its artificial intelligence (AI) systems. The decision was made earlier this week by Brazil’s national data protection authority, which cited concerns over “the imminent risk of serious and irreparable or difficult-to-repair damage to the fundamental rights of the affected data subjects,” according to a statement in the nation’s official gazette.

Brazil, a significant market for Meta with approximately 102 million active Facebook users, has joined the growing resistance against the tech giant’s new privacy policy aimed at mining publicly shared content for AI training. This move mirrors recent actions taken by European authorities, where Meta’s similar plans were also put on hold.

In Europe, Meta intended to use public posts, images, captions, comments and stories from Facebook and Instagram users over 18 to train large language models (LLMs) powering AI tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. However, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) intervened after receiving requests from other European bodies, urging Meta to delay these plans.

Read more: Meta & OpenAI CEOs Back EU AI Regulations

Meta has defended its stance, arguing that the lack of local data hampers its ability to provide high-quality AI services. The company claims that without access to such data, its AI products would fail to accurately understand regional languages, cultures and trending topics, resulting in a “second-rate experience” for users. Meta had planned to offer its AI chatbot, Llama, and the MetaAI assistant, contingent on accessing this data.

Despite these challenges, Meta maintains that its approach complies with existing laws and regulations. The company asserts that its policies are “more transparent than many of [their] industry counterparts.”

A spokesperson for Meta expressed disappointment in a statement to the Associated Press, asserting that the method “complies with privacy laws and regulations in Brazil.” The spokesperson added, “This is a step backwards for innovation, competition in AI development, and further delays bringing the benefits of AI to people in Brazil.”

Meta also noted that users have the option to opt out of the AI training process.

Source: Euro News