Without question, there have been some serious privacy concerns lately when it comes to the recently launched ChatGPT. There are now some complaints worth noting, and some investigations that have been launched in response to complaints. This article mentions what has taken place in three jurisdictions: Canada, the European Union, and the United States.
First, it has been announced that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada commenced an investigation into OpenAI, the company behind artificial intelligence (“AI”)-powered chatbot, ChatGPT. This investigation began following a complaint alleging that there has been collection, use and disclosure of personal information without consent. The Privacy Commissioner will certainly be taking a close look at Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the practices used by OpenAI.
At this point, the investigation is ongoing, and no details have been provided.
In the announcement, the Privacy Commissioner, Philippe Dufresne mentioned that AI technology and its effects on privacy were a priority, and it was necessary to keep up with and stay ahead of fast-moving technological advances.
Second, it has been reported that European Union privacy regulators will be creating a task force to investigate ChatGPT. In fact, the move comes after several data privacy regulators (most notably the Italian data protection authority) raised concerns about whether the AI chatbot was operating in accordance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).
To that end, it will be the European Data Protection Board that creates the task force in order to foster cooperation and to exchange information on possible enforcement actions conducted by data protection authorities.
And third, the Center for AI and Digital Policy (“Center”) has called on the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to open an investigation and order OpenAI to halt the release of GPT models until necessary safeguards are established. The Center stresses that these safeguards should be based on guidance that has already been created by the FTC.
More specifically, the Center argues that ChatGPT is biased, deceptive, and a risk to privacy and public safety. What is most troubling is that the Center suggests that no independent assessment has been conducted prior to deployment, OpenAI has acknowledged the specific dangers including disinformation and influence, and OpenAI has disclaimed liability for the consequences that may follow.
In the 46-page complaint, the Center has reiterated the FTC’s AI guidance: the use of AI should be “transparent, explainable, fair, and empirically sound while fostering accountability.” Also, it stresses that “OpenAI’s product GPT-4 satisfies none of these requirements.” The Center urges the FTC to act.
The Center wants independent oversight and evaluation of commercial AI products offered in the United States. It also wants the FTC to open an investigation into OpenAI, enjoin further commercial releases of GPT-4, and ensure the establishment of necessary guardrails to protect consumers, businesses, and the commercial marketplace.
Interestingly, the complaint discusses public policy for the governance of AI. Some of the things mentioned in this part are the OECD AI Principles, and the Universal Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence.
What can we take from these developments?
Clearly, several individuals are concerned about recent ChatGPT developments. Whether we are talking about Canada, the European Union, or the United States, work is underway to provide the much-needed guidance and a slowing of public deployment to a responsible speed as suggested by Tristan Harris of Center for Human Technology (found in the Center’s complaint).
We will continue to keep you aware of new developments on this front. In the meantime, feel free to view the following for further information:
OpenAI’s announcement that it released GPT-4
GPT-4 Technical Report
Please note that any views expressed in this article are solely the views of the author.
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