ChatGPT Privacy: Understanding the Compliance Risks

Learn about the privacy risks associated with ChatGPT and how to ensure compliance with data protection regulations and avoid unethical biases when using it.

Anas Baig

April 21, 2023

6 Min Read
ChatGPT Privacy: Understanding the Compliance Risks
Ascannio / Alamy Stock Photo

As technology advances and more data is collected, privacy compliance becomes increasingly important for organizations. No matter which industry the organization belongs to, data is collected, utilized, shared, and sold to third parties, necessitating organizations to be aware of the compliance risks associated with handling sensitive information and take precautions to mitigate these risks. ChatGPT significantly raises the stakes. Here’s how.

As an Artificial Intelligence language model trained by OpenAI and designed to understand and respond to natural language, ChatGPT has access to vast amounts of data, roughly 570 GBs; 175 billion parameters. Since its inception in November 2022, the tool responds to over 10 million queries daily and has a user base count of 100 million with over 13 million active daily users.

As with any other AI language model, ChatGPT was developed and trained by using billions of data points and may unintentionally reflect any biases or errors found in that data. A human that initiated the prompt should thoroughly examine and validate any outputs produced by the model to ensure its accuracy and relevance. Any unethical and irresponsible results should be reported for an improved version of the AI model.

ChatGPT and Privacy

ChatGPT, like any other technology, threatens the notion of privacy if not utilized properly. For instance, ChatGPT might violate evolving data protection laws and harm individual privacy if it is used to profile users or collect personal information from users without their knowledge or consent.

While that sounds good in theory, the real-world implications differ and raise important questions about privacy and compliance risks, especially in light of recent regulatory changes such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) - these evolving legislation mandate organizations to meet regulatory compliance while building customer transparency and trust. Learn how a Privacy Center helps you handle all the complex aspects of data privacy law requirements.

Using ChatGPT comes with its own set of risks, even though it is supposed to work within ethical and legal boundaries. Here are the compliance risks associated with ChatGPT and how to ensure privacy in the wake of growing compliance risks:

Privacy and Data Protection

AI language models like ChatGPT require large amounts of data to be trained. Understanding the data that ChatGPT uses and how it is gathered is crucial. ChatGPT utilizes data from various sources, such as books, websites, and social media. This data is preprocessed and used to train the language model, meaning that ChatGPT has access to vast information about people, places, and things.

Not to forget that this data may include personal information such as names, addresses, and other identifying information that needs to be protected under privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. If this data is not properly anonymized or deleted, it could violate privacy regulations. The use of AI language models must comply with these regulations to prevent data breaches and protect user privacy.

Bias and Discrimination

The quality of AI language models depends on the data they are trained on. The model will replicate any biases or discrimination observed in the training set of data. ChatGPT may pick up biases from the text data on which it was trained. For instance, the language model may produce text that favors men if the text data used to train ChatGPT has more examples of men than of women. As a result, this could result in violations of anti-discrimination laws or regulations, and individuals or groups may be treated unfairly because of their race, gender, age, or other protected traits.

Intellectual Property

ChatGPT can produce content that might violate someone else's intellectual property rights. For instance, copyright infringement can occur if the model produces text that is similar to works protected by intellectual property. This is possible because ChatGPT is trained on a lot of data, including text from different sources that can contain copyrighted or trademarked information. Organizations that employ ChatGPT and other AI language models should take certain security measures to prevent IP infringement. These may consist of the following:

  • Obtaining training data exclusively from authorized and legal sources: Businesses must make sure that the data utilized to train ChatGPT is legitimate and legal and does not violate any IP rights.

  • Monitoring ChatGPT output: To ensure it does not violate any IP rights, organizations should monitor ChatGPT output. If a potential violation is found, remedial action should be performed.

  • Getting consent before using content that is protected by copyright: If ChatGPT creates content that is protected by copyright, organizations should get consent from the owner of the copyright before using it.

  • Conducting regular IP audits: Regular IP audits should be carried out by organizations to find and rectify any potential cases of IP infringement with ChatGPT or other AI language models.

Regulation and Compliance

Depending on the sector and the model's intended usage, AI language models may be subject to various laws and compliance standards. For instance, the model might be governed by laws like KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) if it is utilized in the banking sector. Organizations should ensure which laws apply to them and implement practices or strategies that help them comply with the evolving data privacy landscape.

Ethical Considerations

Using AI language models raises ethical considerations such as transparency, explainability, and accountability. The output generated by the model must be understandable and explainable to ensure that it is used ethically and responsibly. It is crucial to take action to make sure ChatGPT runs within ethical and legal bounds to reduce risks. Organizations must:

  • Verify that personal information has been erased or anonymized before utilizing ChatGPT with any text data. This will lessen the possibility of violating privacy laws.

  • Regularly monitor the output of ChatGPT frequently for any indications of bias. If bias is found, report the text and correct it when using it.

  • ChatGPT should be trained on various text data that cover a wide range of opinions and experiences to minimize the danger of bias.

  • Obtain consent from individuals whose data is being processed to ensure that the use of ChatGPT is compliant with privacy regulations.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is an effective tool for generating natural language responses, but it must be utilized in a way that complies with privacy laws. Organizations and individuals may lessen the dangers associated with utilizing ChatGPT and ensure that it runs within ethical and legal bounds by anonymizing personal data, monitoring for bias, training on diverse data, obtaining consent to avoid the wrath of regulatory agencies, and avoiding noncompliance penalties.

About the Author(s)

Anas Baig

With a passion for working on disruptive products, Anas Baig is currently working as a Product Manager at Securiti. He holds a degree in computer science from Iqra University. His interests include Information Security, Data Privacy, and Compliance. You may connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

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