Your ChatGPT data automatically trains its AI models – unless you turn off this setting

A close up of ChatGPT on a phone, with the OpenAI logo in the background of the photo
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Daniel Chetroni)

If you rely on ChatGPT to run aspects of your life, and often pass fairly sensitive data to the AI, you might want to make sure you’ve opted out of its ‘Improve model for everyone’ setting. Otherwise OpenAI’s model will be training itself on what you tell it.

Before you panic, you should know that not all data is automatically passed over to ChatGPT’s training pool. Temporary Chats and Business plans will have this feature turned off by default. What’s more, OpenAI makes clear that the data is kept private and is purely used to improve the AI’s understanding of how language is used, rather than being used to create individualized profiles of users for advertising or other nefarious purposes.

Still, if you’re a free or even a premium ChatGPT Plus account anything you say will be helping to train ChatGPT with by default. So how do you turn it off?

Three simple steps

Looking to opt out of contributing your data to the training of OpenAI's AI models? Here's how to do it:

A laptop screen on a pink and purple background showing ChatGPT's settings page

(Image credit: OpenAI / Future)
  • Start by clicking your profile picture in the top right corner of the ChatGPT screen.
  • You’ll then want to go into Settings, and the third option down will be Data Controls. Click it.
  • Once in this submenu, toggle ‘Improve the model for everyone’ off and close out of settings.

A more private AI era?

Apple Intelligence presentation

(Image credit: Apple)

Privacy in AI has always been an important topic, but it has been thrust firmly into the spotlight recently thanks to Apple’s WWDC 2024 keynote. 

This is where the company finally unveiled its Apple Intelligence model, and one of its core features is its top-tier data handling and privacy methods – which Apple has boasted are verified by independent third-parties.

It also follows Microsoft’s botched rollout of Recall; it’s a Windows Copilot feature where an AI takes screenshots your display very frequently and logs everything you do on your PC so it can remind you of your actions later. Useful, sure, but also a potential privacy nightmare.

We expect privacy will only continue to be an important conversation, with users more and more wary of auto-on data sharing settings like ChatGPT’s 'Improve model for everyone', but we’ll have to wait and see how AI creators react.

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Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.