OpenAI’s ChatGPT just can’t seem to stay out of legal hot water. The AI startup and its financial backer, Microsoft were slapped with yet another class action lawsuit this week, this time over claims they violated privacy laws by training ChatGPT on data scraped from the public without consent.
Filed in San Francisco federal court, the lawsuit comes from legal goliath Morgan & Morgan on behalf of two unnamed software engineers. According to the complaint, OpenAI and Microsoft scraped Americans’ personal info from hundreds of millions of social media posts, websites, and more to train ChatGPT and other AI systems, all without permission.
This is practically a carbon copy of another lawsuit filed against the AI pair back in June by consumer protection firm Clarkson Law. Clarkson’s top lawyer Ryan Clarkson seems pleased to have Morgan & Morgan piling on, saying in a statement Wednesday that he welcomes the chance to hold “Big AI” accountable alongside them.
So far, OpenAI and Microsoft haven’t responded to either case.
The controversy comes after ChatGPT’s meteoric rise. Just two months after launch, the chatbot already has over 100 million users. And Microsoft keeps pouring billions into OpenAI. Of course, we’ve seen a slight decline in the number of daily users of the GenAI app as the novelty began to wain and more players like Anthropic’s Claude.ai have entered the space.
In the latest lawsuit, the anonymous engineers claim OpenAI and Microsoft’s data scraping could ultimately cost them their jobs. The suit argues the companies stole the plaintiffs’ skills and expertise by training ChatGPT’s AI on their personal info without asking.
The engineers are seeking unspecified damages and asking the court to force OpenAI and Microsoft to implement stronger data protections. But whether the lawsuit succeeds or not, one thing’s clear: ChatGPT’s legal troubles are far from over.
What This Means For You:
Marketers and companies using ChatGPT should ensure they establish clear policies around employee usage of this and all GenAI tools.
Employers should outline the areas where they wouldn’t want to see AI used and determine their level of risk tolerance and write policies that clearly spell out expectations. Here are some top considerations and key tips for developing you company’s AI policies.
If you need assistance developing the right GenAI policies, contact me and we can develop them together.
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