OpenAI faces lawsuit for allegedly stealing users’ private information for AI testing

OpenAI faces lawsuit for allegedly stealing users' private information for AI testing
OpenAI faces lawsuit

OpenAI, the renowned firm responsible for the creation of ChatGPT and Dall-E, is now facing a lawsuit that accuses the company of unlawfully acquiring millions of users' private information to train its AI tools.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the Northern District of California on Wednesday, demands compensation for affected users.

According to the 157-page legal document, OpenAI stands accused of developing its AI products, including ChatGPT and Dall-E, by utilizing “stolen private information, including personally identifiable information” from countless internet users.

The lawsuit, filed by a group of individuals identified only by their initials, professions, or their interactions with OpenAI's tools, goes as far as to claim that OpenAI poses a “potentially catastrophic risk to humanity.”

The lawsuit argues that while artificial intelligence can be used for beneficial purposes, OpenAI chose to prioritize profit at the expense of privacy, security, and ethics.

The company allegedly adopted a strategy of surreptitiously gathering massive amounts of personal data from the internet, including private conversations, medical data, information about children, and virtually every piece of data exchanged online, all without the knowledge or permission of the data owners or users.

The suit asserts, “Without this unprecedented theft of private and copyrighted information belonging to real people, communicated to unique communities, for specific purposes, targeting specific audiences, [OpenAI's] products would not be the multi-billion- business they are today.”

The information OpenAI is accused of stealing encompasses all inputs into its AI tools, such as the prompts provided by users to ChatGPT. Additionally, it includes users' account information, contact details, login credentials, payment details, data extracted from users' web browsers (including physical locations), chat and search data, keystroke data, and more.

Microsoft, a partner of OpenAI, has also been named in the lawsuit but declined to comment. OpenAI has yet to respond to requests for comment from CBS MoneyWatch.

The lawsuit further claims that OpenAI rushed its products to the market without implementing necessary safeguards to mitigate potential harm to humans. Consequently, these AI tools now pose risks to humanity and could even “eliminate the human species as a threat to its goals.”

Furthermore, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants possess enough information to “create our digital clones, including the ability to replicate our voice and likeness.” The suit concludes by asserting that these powerful tools could even “encourage our own professional obsolescence.”

The plaintiffs are calling on OpenAI to provide transparency regarding the data it collects, urging the company to open the “black box.” They also seek compensation for the “stolen data on which the products depend” and demand that OpenAI allows users to opt out of data collection when using its tools.

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