Zuckerberg admits that they use your Instagram photos to train their AI
Mark Zuckerberg confirmed in his earnings call for Meta’s fourth quarter results what we have long suspected. Meta is using our Instagram images to train its AI data set.
The tech CEO confirmed yesterday that everyone who posts images publicly on either Facebook or Instagram is fair game for generative AI training fodder.
“On Facebook and Instagram, there are hundreds of billions of publicly shared images and tens of billions of public videos, which we estimate is greater than the Common Crawl dataset and people share large numbers of public text posts in comments across our services as well,” he said.
Meta has committed to investing in AI and has recently showcased several different features that use the technology.
Is it legal?
So can Meta legally use our content? Well, it’s complicated. According to Werd.io, Zuckerberg could be within his rights to use our content. That pesky T&C that we all sign and don’t bother reading actually states that we are giving our consent to Meta to use our content. “By posting content there, they grant the company rights to use it,” says Werd.io.
In this aspect, Meta definitely has one up on other AI-gen companies such as Midjourney, OpenAI and Stability AI. Both have openly admitted to scraping data from all corners of the internet, including copyrighted images hosted on private sites.
See you in court
Of course, just having permission to use content doesn’t mean that artists are giving up their copyright to their images. However, it does raise a lot of questions. Many of which could be raised in future court proceedings.
Meta President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg almost admitted as much, saying, “Whether creative content is covered or not by existing fair use doctrine… We think it is, but I strongly suspect that’s going to play out in litigation.”
No doubt, Meta will be fully prepared for that day in court. However, before then, we could witness droves of people abandoning their accounts in favour of greater privacy.
After all. Who wants images of their children or family holidays training Meta’s AI services?
Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe