What is the lawsuit about?
059 – Last Wednesday, June 28, 2023, it was announced that Clarkson Law Firm, P.C. would file a class action suit against OpenAI for misuse of personal data without the consent or knowledge of users, in violation of basic privacy and copyright principles.
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The plaintiffs allege that OpenAI continues to use and collect data from millions of users for the purpose of “training” its products to be consumed worldwide. The main products OpenAI owns are ChatGPT, Codex, DALL-E, Gym and OpenAI API.
In addition, the Clarkson law firm highlights that OpenAI extracted more than 300 billion words across various online platforms and data, but they highlight that some of that data was taken from applications such as Twitter and Reddit, as well as personal information of millions of users.
From this point they endorse that the startup “did so in secret and without registering as a data intermediary, as required by applicable law.” Among the main charges against OpenAI are violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the California Invasion Privacy Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
It is highlighted how the startup has sought to offer various programming language models through artificial intelligence, which daily collect information through online data, so there is an inherent risk that the privacy of millions of users will be violated if used incorrectly or inappropriately.
Consequences for OpenAI
Since the remarkable growth of artificial intelligences, and especially ChatGPT, several governments have called for greater regulation of artificial intelligence models in order to mitigate the associated risks and preserve user privacy.
The class action suit could cause great economic losses to the company, since, although it is not known with certainty a possible sentence, it is speculated that a financial compensation will be agreed, either directly to the users or to the government. This is due to the fact that the law firm alleges that millions of online data were used without the consent of those involved and then obtained profits based on irregularities.
In addition to the fact that the company’s reputation could be significantly affected, since the violation of users’ privacy is a very sensitive issue; therefore, the “boom” of ChatGPT and other associated products could have a clear downward trend in terms of usage.
This is why the future of the use of such programming languages is not in doubt, but the exhaustive regulation of companies dedicated to the development and promotion of the use of artificial intelligence will be.
Improvement Opportunity for Artificial Intelligence
Clearly the allegations against OpenAI are not favorable for the company, and even less so knowing that it is a technology that is expanding worldwide and will undoubtedly provide a milestone in the use of such technologies.
The Clarkson Law Firm initially proposes eleven different types of regulations that companies related to artificial intelligence-based programming languages should comply with, including the creation of “an AI council to approve products prior to deployment, full transparency, accountability, an option for users to opt out of data collection, and technological security measures.”
In addition, they propose that those companies that are operating worldwide be sanctioned with a partial freezing of their operations until they comply with minimum requirements that do not compromise data security and user privacy.
Undoubtedly, there must be a regulation that complies not only with the current characteristics of programming languages, but also that points to the future, since this technology is clearly growing at an exponential pace; therefore, without proper regulation by the authorities, the use and development of these languages could act against the interests of humans, thus being a threat like fictional movies.