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OpenAI Sued for Theft of Private Data

OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT has been sued following the alleged theft of “vast amounts” of personal information, in an effort to train the AI models in a hunt for profits.

It appears OpenAI violated privacy laws by secretly stealing 300 billion words from the internet, utilising “books, articles, websites, and posts – including personal information obtained without consent,” according to a lawsuit spanning 157 pages, accusing the business of “civilisational collapse.”

The plaintiffs are described by occupations or interests, but identified by initials over fear of backlash.

In a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court, they are citing $3 billion in potential damages, through a category of harmed individuals that is estimated to be in the millions.

“Despite established protocols for the purchase and use of personal information, Defendants took a different approach: theft.”

ChatGPT and other products have been trained on private information taken from what has been described as hundreds of millions of internet users, including children, without permission.

Microsoft currently have plans to invest #13 billion into the company and was named as a defendant.

ChatGPT has not only stirred interest but a firestorm over privacy and misinformation.

Government officials are currently debating the potential dangers as questions are being raised of the future of creative industries and the ability to tell fact from fiction.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has even called for AI regulation in testimony, however this lawsuit is focusing of how the information was received to begin with.

The company has been accused of conducting an enormous web-scraping operation which violated terms of service agreements and state and federal privacy and property laws.

One of these laws is the ‘Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’ which is a federal anti-hacking statue having invoked in scraping disputes previously.

This lawsuit is also claiming invasion of privacy, larceny, unjust enrichment, and violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

It was claimed OpenAI illegally accessed private information for individual interactions with products and from apps that have integrated ChatGPT.

These allowed the company to gather image and location data from Snapchat, music preferences on Spotify, financial information from Stripe and private conversations from Slack and Microsoft Teams.

OpenAI originally abandoned the principal of advancing AI “in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole.”

The lawsuit’s expected revenue for ChatGPT and OpenAI for 2023 is at $200 million.

The plaintiffs are also seeking the court to temporarily freeze commercial access to and the further development of OpenAI’s products.

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