Meta Platforms delayed a plan to train AI models based on social media posts shared by users in Europe due to a request from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), a decision which will stall the launch of the technology in the continent.

DPC, the lead regulator acting on behalf of European data protection authorities, announced its order a week after Meta Platforms revealed plans to bring Meta AI to Europe, following rollout of the service in more than a dozen countries.

The regulator took action after European advocacy group None Of Your Business (NOYB) raised concerns, urging data protection agencies in 11 European countries including France, Germany and Italy to block the move. NOYB alleges Meta Platforms plans to train its AI services on user data without consent.

In response to the decision, Meta Platforms described DPC’s call as a step backwards in European innovation, arguing its approach in AI development complies with market regulations and is more transparent than its rivals.

Meta AI is an assistant built on the company’s Llama 3 model. Launching the product in Europe requires Meta Platforms to train its AI models based on public content shared on Instagram and Facebook in the region.

“We are committed to bringing Meta AI, along with the models that power it, to more people around the world, including in Europe. But, 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,” explained the company.

Meta Platforms added it is “disappointed” by the request from DPC, but noted it will continue working with regulators.

Responding to Meta Platforms, DPC stated it “welcomes the decision by Meta to pause its plans to train its large language model using public content shared by adults on Facebook and Instagram across the European Union and European Economic Area”.

In a separate, related statement, chair of NOYB Max Schrems said: “We welcome this development but will monitor it closely. So far, there has been no official change to the Meta privacy policy that would make this commitment legally binding. The cases we have filed are ongoing and will require an official decision.”