Meta uses your Facebook data to train its AI. Here’s how to oppose it (well, almost)

Estimated read time 4 min read

Meta uses your Facebook data to train its AI. Here's how to oppose it (well, almost)

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has earned billions of dollars by collecting, sharing and using your personal data. And it continues. Meta uses your data to create its large language model (LLM), Llama 2.

Yes, your data is the ore from which the metal of the next Facebook AI chatbot will be forged. Doesn’t that enchant you? You can make at least some of your data not feed Facebook’s AI engine.

Facebook Instagram First of all, understand that Meta will only use publicly available information “as well as information from its products and services” — Facebook, Threads and Instagram — to train its generative AI services. The only way to completely avoid this is to delete your Facebook and associated accounts. And 90 days later, this is the period for which Meta keeps your data, your data will no longer be accessible.

To modify the way Meta uses your data, two options are now possible

Note, however, that even if you have never used Facebook, Meta almost certainly knows things about you. Indeed, many other websites use Meta data, social network plugins or other Meta advertising software. These sources alone are enough to collect information about you.

To modify the way Meta uses your data, two options are now possible.

Facebook Activity First of all, for some time now, you can use the OFA (Off-Facebook Activity) tools to see much, but not all, of what Facebook and your friends know about you.

Facebook Activity

Even when you’re not on Facebook, Meta follows you on the trail. Screenshot by Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNET

In addition to your name and the fact that you liked the photo of your uncle’s cat, you will discover that Facebook knows when you have…

  • Open an application

  • Been connected to an application with Facebook

  • Displayed content

  • Searched for an article

  • Added an item to a shopping cart

  • Made a purchase

  • Donates

  • Visited a website

However, the OFA’s tools allow you to manage your activity outside Facebook.

First, go to the Off-Facebook Activity page. To access this page, you may need to enter your Facebook password. It’s normal. There you will find all the sites and services with which Facebook shares data and vice versa.

To find out exactly what each of them does in general, click on the ones that interest you. Since you probably have hundreds of them, I doubt that you would want to go through them all.

Disable future activities

In the Manage your activities off Facebook pages, at the bottom of the screen, you can “Disable future activities”. Facebook or the company can’t get your data, but it simply breaks the link between your Facebook identity and your data, in theory.

Clear history

You can also simply “Clear History”. You will find this option on the Manage your activity off Facebook page. It will disconnect your account from all sites and services that are currently following you. Again, this does not erase anything. It simply breaks the link between your account and Facebook’s partners. In this case, it may also be that you are logged out of all the sites to which you connect using a Facebook ID. However, Facebook and its partners will continue to receive your activities when you visit their sites and services.

Breaking the AI data cord

This will also eliminate some of the data used by Meta as part of its AI programs. To learn more about improving the protection of your privacy in terms of AI, you should go to the new Generative AI Data Subject Rights page.

Meta doesn’t promise to do anything, but you can always ask

There you can “submit requests related to the use of your information for the training of generative AI models”. Meta does not promise to do anything, but you can ask the following:

  • I would like to access, download or correct any personal information from third parties and used for generative AI.

  • This request will generate an email to Meta customer service. In due course, Meta will respond to you. The answer you will get will depend on where you live. Today, EU citizens are much more likely to be able to obtain their information and modify it than, for example, a citizen of Canada, the United States or Mexico. This is because the EU has much stricter privacy laws than anywhere else in the world.

    The other request is much simpler:

  • I would like to delete all third-party personal information used for generative AI.

  • With this option, all your OFA data should be deleted.

    Instagram facebookand Threads Even after all this, Meta will still have access to all the data you entered in Facebook, Instagram and Threads. But at least you will have preserved some of your personal data from Meta’s AI. It’s better than nothing.

    Source: “ “

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