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X’s Updated Privacy Policy Allows Use of Public Data for AI Training

The recent privacy policy update for X states that the platform will begin collecting biometric data as well as users' job and education history.

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X's recent privacy policy update has confirmed that the platform once known as Twitter will now collect biometric data, users' job, and education history. Beyond this, the company has expressed intentions to utilize the information it gathers, along with other publicly available data, to train its machine learning and AI models. This change was highlighted by Alex Ivanovs of Stackdiary, who has previously identified AI-related updates in platforms like Brave and Zoom.

Musk's Ambitions in AI

Elon Musk, the owner of X, has been vocal about his aspirations in the AI domain with his other venture, xAI. Musk might be planning to use X as a primary data source for xAI. This speculation is further fueled by Musk's past statements about using “public tweets” to train xAI's AI models. Musk has also previously accused rivals, including Microsoft, of using Twitter data for their AI models.

He even went as far as threatening Microsoft with legal action over alleged unauthorized use of Twitter data. In a recent tweet, Musk clarified that only “public data” would be used, ensuring that direct messages or private information would remain untouched.

In July, Musk announced his new xAI company to create . While Musk is a proponent of , he is also one of the most vocal critics regarding the potential dangers of artificial intelligence. 

Musk, a co-founder of OpenAI, has been increasingly expressing his disappointment with OpenAI since ChatGPT was released late last year, although he has been critical about the Microsoft partnership for years. Musk believes that OpenAI has deviated from its original mission of being open-source and non-profit. His allegations came to a head when he claimed that  is largely in control of OpenAI due to a billion-dollar investment made by the company in 2019, succeeded by a $10 billion investment this year.

Comparison with Other Platforms

ZDNet highlights that while platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and the new Threads platform have been using for , others like TikTok and Snapchat have not made similar announcements. Snapchat's AI chatbot, My AI, uses its conversations for training but not general posts. YouTube, on the other hand, employs AI for video recommendations, but there's no confirmation about using videos for AI training.

This shift is not exclusive to X; it's a potential future for the entire internet, where AI algorithms define and personalize user experiences. The broader concern is whether users are comfortable with this AI-driven, highly customized yet potentially restrictive internet experience.

Last month, Zoom backed down from a policy change that would allow it to use customer video data to train its IQ AI. The company updated its terms of service in March, claiming all the rights to the data generated by users during their calls. This data includes not only audio and video, but also text, images, and emotions. 

In a blog post, Zoom makes its policy change clear with the following commitment: “For AI, we do not use audio, video, or chat content for training our models without customer consent.”

Also last month, tweaked its policies for Bing Chat to allow the AI search chatbot collect some user data. In June, Microsoft and partner OpenAI faced a lawsuit from a group accusing the companies of scraping private data to train its AI models

Meta – a company hardly known for respecting customer privacy – took positive steps earlier this month. While the company says it uses customer data to train AI for and , it also allows users to opt out of sharing their data

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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