How To Stop Facebook & Instagram From Using Your Photos To Train AI

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Meta states that it cannot guarantee your data won’t be stored, even if you explicitly request otherwise. This uncertainty raises significant privacy concerns for users who prefer more control over their personal information.

As AI rapidly integrates into various sectors of the digital landscape, people are increasingly confused and worried about how to prevent AI from stealing their photos, artwork, and other online content. Many are seeking effective methods to safeguard their digital creations against unauthorized use by AI systems.

Yet, so many people have no idea that they already gave their rights away to use their images, pictures and content for whatever Facebook and Instagram wants to when they signed up.

Although many people are only now realizing that Facebook and Instagram will use their content to train AI, this was actually announced back in October 2023.

The Decoder states, “Meta announced that it would use content from Facebook and Instagram to train its AI systems, including their new Meta AI assistant. This information was shared during the Connect 2023 event, highlighting how the company is leveraging user-generated content, albeit publicly available posts only, to enhance AI capabilities​.”

While Meta strives to prioritize your privacy, we cannot guarantee that your data won’t be stored.

The statement that Meta cannot guarantee your data won’t be stored even if you request otherwise is based on the company’s updated privacy policies and terms of service. Meta’s terms explicitly state that they can store and use your content, such as photos and posts, even if you delete it later, as the deletion process might take some time or backups might exist​.

This means that despite users’ requests to remove data, there are scenarios where Meta might still retain certain information. This aligns with their general data handling practices detailed in their updated Privacy Policy, which aims to clarify how data is used, shared, and stored across their platforms like Facebook and Instagram​.

How Can I Opt-Out of Meta’s AI Training

On Facebook’s platform where you can voice your concerns about your data being utilized to train AI models. While Facebook doesn’t guarantee non-usage, it’s committed to hearing you out.

Express your objection by providing your email, country, and reasons why you prefer your messages and images not to be employed for AI training. Fill out the form here.

While individuals in Europe have the option to opt out, those of us in the US will have our posts utilized for AI training, regardless of our preferences.

European users can access the opt-out option by going to the Settings page on the Instagram or Facebook app, then proceeding to About > Privacy Policy. You’ll discover a new section containing details about Meta AI, along with a link to an opt-out form named Right to Object.

Meta say: “We’ll review objection requests in accordance with relevant data protection laws. If your request is honored, it will be applied going forward.”

In the US, there’s no way to opt-out. The only option is to leave the platform. So this is a hard decision many creatices are going to have to make.

How to opt out of Meta using your data:

On Facebook’s desktop version:

  • Log in to your account.
  • Go to ‘Settings and Privacy’.
  • Select ‘Privacy Centre’.
  • Click on ‘What is the privacy policy and what does it cover?’.
  • Look for the message about Meta’s privacy policy update and click on ‘right to object’ link.
  • Fill out the form to object to data usage.

On the Facebook app for Android:

  • Go to ‘Settings and Privacy’.
  • Scroll down to ‘Privacy Policy’.

On the Facebook app for Apple:

  • Go to ‘Settings’.
  • Select ‘Terms of Service’.
  • Scroll down to ‘What is the privacy policy and what does it cover?’.

Additional Tips

  • Review Privacy Settings: Regularly check and update your privacy settings on both platforms to ensure your content is shared only with intended audiences.
  • Watermark Your Content: Adding watermarks to your images can deter unauthorized use.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with updates to Facebook and Instagram’s privacy policies and terms of service to understand how your data is being used.

What If Meta Rejects My Objection

For UK users: If Meta rejects your objection, you can complain to the ICO, which may investigate and issue fines. Legal action against Meta for GDPR violations is an option, but it’s typically costly and best pursued with guidance from a data privacy lawyer.

For American users: If Meta rejects your objection, you can explore options like contacting consumer protection agencies or seeking legal advice. While the GDPR doesn’t apply in the US, other privacy laws or terms of service may still offer avenues for recourse.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Meta’s inability to guarantee the non-storage of user data, despite explicit requests, raises substantial privacy concerns. As AI becomes more integrated into our digital lives, it’s crucial to understand and manage your content’s exposure. While European users have some options to opt out, American users face tougher choices, often with no recourse but to leave the platforms.

Staying informed, regularly updating privacy settings, and taking proactive measures can help protect your digital content from unauthorized use by AI systems.