OpenAI, the company behind the widely-used ChatGPT tool, is facing a lawsuit claiming it unlawfully collected and utilized large quantities of personal data from the internet to train its AI models.
According to the 160-page complaint filed in a California federal court, OpenAI allegedly scraped “massive amounts of personal data from the internet,” obtaining nearly every piece of exchanged information without authorization. The scale of this alleged data scraping is described as unprecedented. OpenAI and its major investor, Microsoft, have not provided immediate comments regarding the lawsuit.
The lawsuit further alleges that OpenAI’s products utilized stolen private information, including personally identifiable data, from millions of internet users, including children, without their knowledge or informed consent. Such uninformed data usage raises ethical concerns and highlights the potential risks of exploiting personal data.
The legal action seeks injunctive relief, calling for a temporary halt on the commercial use of OpenAI’s products. It also demands the payment of “data dividends” to compensate individuals whose information was used to develop and train OpenAI’s AI tools. These demands reflect the increasing importance of safeguarding individuals’ data rights and promoting responsible data practices within AI development.
Timothy K. Giordano, a partner at Clarkson, the law firm behind the suit, expressed his concerns, stating, “By collecting previously obscure personal data of millions and misappropriating it to develop a volatile, untested technology, OpenAI put everyone at an unacceptable level of risk in terms of responsible data protection and use.”
OpenAI gained significant attention following the launch of ChatGPT, a tool known for generating human-like responses to user prompts. Its success ignited an AI arms race, with tech companies, large and small, scrambling to integrate AI tools into their products. However, the outcome of this legal battle will have significant implications not only for OpenAI but also for the broader AI community. This lawsuit highlights the need for reliable data protection and usage to ensure an ethical AI ecosystem