Canada launches investigation into OpenAI after complaint over alleged ChatGPT data collection
Canada announced on Tuesday that it had opened an investigation into the US-based software company behind ChatGPT, the trendy artificial intelligence chatbot.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s investigation into OpenAI was initiated in response to a “complaint alleging the collection, use and disclosure of personal information without consent,” the agency said.
Launched in November, OpenAI’s chatbot uses information available online to provide detailed answers to user queries.
ChatGPT caused a stir around the world when it was released last year for its ability to generate essays, songs, reviews, and even news articles from brief prompts.
But critics have long worried that it was unclear where ChatGPT and its competitors got their data or how they processed it.
“We need to keep up and stay ahead of rapid technological advances, and that’s one of my main focus areas,” said Canadian Privacy Commissioner Philippe Dufresne.
Thanks to funding from tech giant Microsoft, which has already added the tool to several of its services, ChatGPT is sometimes touted as a potential competitor to Google’s search engine.
The Canadian regulator’s decision comes amid growing calls for a thorough review of the AI-powered technology.
Last week, billionaire Elon Musk – founder of OpenAI but no longer a board member – and hundreds of global experts called for a six-month pause in AI systems research more powerful than GPT-4, the latest iteration of the software on which ChatGPT is based, citing “profound risks to society and humanity”.
Italy also on Friday became the first country in the Western world to block ChatGPT over concerns over data usage.
European police agency Europol recently warned that criminals are set to take advantage of artificial intelligence like chatbots to commit fraud and other cybercrimes.
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