Meta covertly training AI with user data without providing Instagram and Facebook users easy opt-out options
By Zoey Sky // Jun 10, 2024

Facebook parent company Meta has begun training its generative artificial intelligence features on user data in a manner that makes it difficult for users to opt-out.

Someone with basic knowledge of how user interface/experience (UX) and user behavior works often believe that it's best to use default settings. It's also worth noting that the ability to "opt-out," or for people to remove themselves from a feature that is included by default, is usually a deliberate choice to deceive users.

But when companies make it much harder for users to opt-out, things get a little more suspicious.

Meta's data sharing practices caught people's attention when a Facebook notification was recently sent to users in Europe because according to the notification, EU users will soon be affected by an update to the privacy policy as Meta rolls out new generative AI features in the region.

On a separate page, Meta's generative AI privacy policy explained that it uses "information shared on Meta’s Products and services," including user "posts or photos and their captions" to train its AI models. The company claimed that it will not use private messages for training data.

A Meta spokesperson claimed that the company is notifying users in accordance with its obligations "under local privacy laws" which is allegedly required under General Data Protection Regulation laws in Europe.

According to the notification received by Philip Bloom, a U.K.-based Facebook user, these changes will take effect on June 26, 2024.

While users in the United States have yet to receive the notification, based on Meta's data sharing policy, it seems to already be in effect. The company has been using generative AI features since September 2023.

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Meta first started with the ability to tag the Meta AI chatbot in conversations on Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, and chat with "AI personas" which are characters based on the licensed likenesses of celebrities like social media personality Charli D'Amelio, model and socialite Kendall Jenner and hip hop artist Snoop Dogg.

The company recently expanded its AI-powered features by making Meta AI the default search bar on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. Additionally, it has allowed users to chat with the AI about specific posts.

However, if you don't like these features, there is no option to turn them off.

A user on X going by the handle Tantacrul said he was "shocked by the design of @Meta's new notification" informing users that the company wants to use the content they post "to train their AI models."

Tantacrul shared the many steps required to update user settings, adding that the process seems to be "intentionally designed to be highly awkward in order to [minimize] the number of users who will object to it."

How to opt out of data sharing with Meta AI models

If you don't want Meta to access your data, you need to delete your accounts.

But if you want to keep your social media accounts, there are several ways to limit how much data you share. For some users, clicking on the opt-out link will show you a message that says the option is only available to users in certain regions.

Clicking on another link will redirect you to a Meta help center page where you can submit a request to access, delete, or file a complaint about personal information "from third parties being used to develop and improve AI at Meta."

As you fill out the form, you will be given three options related to third-party data being used for improving AI at Meta:

  • Access, download or correct any personal information from third parties used for building and improving AI at Meta
  • Delete any personal information from third parties used for building and improving AI at Meta
  • Submit a concern about personal information from third parties that is related to a response received from an AI at Meta model, feature or experience

Keep in mind that there is no specific mention of opting out of sharing your data with the models on the Meta help center page. Additionally, the options are narrow and relate specifically to third parties.

The form also claims that requests aren't automatically fulfilled and that Meta will need to review your request based on local laws. This means that users in the E.U. or U.K. who fall under stricter privacy laws might have an easier time deleting or accessing their data. (Related: Meta’s new face camera can be used for ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE of private citizens.)

After you decide on the relevant option, Meta will require you to fill out your name, country of residence, email and specific evidence explaining why you're submitting your request.

The form will then require you to submit "any prompts you entered that generated a response that included your personal information" or upload a screenshot of the response.

This means you are required to give a specific example of why you wish to delete your data. However, this doesn't guarantee that Meta will fulfill your request.

Visit for more stories about Meta and Facebook.

Watch the video below to find out why Meta wants users to stay distracted in the Metaverse.

This video is from the Red Voice Media channel on

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Sources include: 1 2

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