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Meta has announced that it is temporarily suspending plans to launch its Meta AI assistant in Europe, following objections from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC).


The decision comes after "intensive engagement" between Meta and the DPC, according to a brief statement from the Irish data protection authority.

Meta says it is "disappointed" by the development, arguing that without access to European data, the company can only provide a sub-par product that is not optimized for the cultural nuances of the region.

"Put simply, without including local information we’d only be able to offer people a second-rate experience. This means we aren’t able to launch Meta AI in Europe at the moment," the company writes.


The company views this as a setback for European innovation and competition in AI development, delaying the benefits of AI for people in Europe.

In its defense, Meta claims that its approach to data collection is transparent compared to competitors like OpenAI and Google, "both of which have already used data from European users to train AI."

Meta emphasizes that its focus is on general AI training based on learning from patterns, rather than collecting personal information.

Meta also noted its open-source strategy, saying, "We’re using content that people have chosen to make public to build our foundational AI model that we release openly."

To meet the specific requirements of the DPC, Meta has decided not to release its AI assistant in Europe for now. The company plans to remain in contact with the DPC to explore ways to offer AI products in Europe in the future.


The situation arose due to concerns raised by data protection experts at Noyb, who argue that Meta's use of public user data without explicit consent to train its AI systems violates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Meta cites a "legitimate interest" - presumably to maximize the amount of data it can collect.

"Meta has every option to roll out AI based on valid consent - it just chooses not to do so," says Max Schrems, Chairman of Noyb.

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  • Following objections from the Irish data protection authority, Meta has put its plans for its AI assistant in the EU on hold for now. Meta says it's "disappointed" and argues that without European data, it can only offer a second-rate product.
  • Meta sees its data collection as transparent compared to competitors such as OpenAI and Google, which train on similar data, and stresses that it's not about learning personal information. The company also points to its open-source strategy, which it says will benefit everyone.
  • Noyb sees a clear violation of GDPR in the fact that Meta wants to use public user data for AI training without explicit consent, based on a "legitimate interest."
Online journalist Matthias is the co-founder and publisher of THE DECODER. He believes that artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the relationship between humans and computers.
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