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How to stop Meta from using your data to train AI

Published Sep 2nd, 2023 2:02PM EDT
A pedestrian walks in front of a new logo and the name 'Meta' on the sign in front of Facebook headquarters on October 28, 2021 in Menlo Park, California.
Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Meta is betting big on AI, just like it tried to bet big on the Metaverse all those months ago. This means the company will use data that it has scraped and received from outside sources to help train its AI. Luckily, Facebook users can ask the company to delete some of their data, so that it isn’t all used to train the company’s various AI systems.

If you don’t want Meta using any of your information, then you’re going to be somewhat disappointed. The new form that the company has launched only allows you the opportunity to control what third-party data the company is using. As such, you can’t stop it from using your Facebook data, or any data from the company’s various other apps.

But, if you do want to take back a little control over your data, then you can head over to Meta’s central resource section, where you’ll find a form called “Generative AI Data Subject Rights.” This form addresses data that has been released to Meta thanks to the scraping of third-party websites. Online scraping has become a huge point of contention in the wider AI world, with many companies like OpenAI coming under fire after launching AI web-scraping bots designed to train their systems.

ChatGPT homepage
Generative AI like ChatGPT requires insane amounts of data to help train it, and some of that data is inevitably going to be yours. Image source: Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Luckily, Meta has given you a way to opt out of your third-party website data being used to train its AI algorithms. When looking at the “Generative AI Data Subject Rights” form, you’ll see three options. You can:

  • Ask for access to download or correct any personal information from third parties used for generative AI.
  • Delete any personal information from third parties used for generative AI.
  • Or select I have a different issue.

If you want to delete the third-party data used to train Meta’s generative AI, then you’ll want to select the second option. From here, you’ll need to enter your country of residence, your first and last name, as well as an email address – I can only assume it requires the email address attached to your Meta accounts. Once that is done, click send, and the form will go off to Meta. Your data should be deleted in a timely manner, though no ETA is given.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.