OpenAI accused of string of data protection breaches in GDPR complaint

Illustrated image of a bot inside a computer with speech bubble
(Image credit: Getty)

OpenAI, the company behind the famed AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT, is being accused of breaching the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and engaging in shady practices when it comes to processing people’s sensitive data.

According to TechCrunch, a Polish security and privacy researcher Lukasz Olejnik recently filed a 17-page complaint, via a local law firm GP Partners, with the country’s data protection watchdog. 

In the complaint, Olejnik argues that the company engaged in “untrustworthy, dishonest, and perhaps unconscientious” activities, as it didn’t comprehensively detail how it processed some sensitive information.

Insufficient data

As per the report, Olejnik realized something was amiss when he tried to use the chatbot to create a biography of himself. The chatbot came back with results bearing some mistakes. 

Speaking to TechCrunch, he said he tried to contact the company in March in order to fix the mistakes and asked the team to provide more clarification on how the data is being processed, as he’s allowed under GDPR. 

OpenAI responded and provided “some information”, but - allegedly - not all of it. Olejnik claims the company didn’t explain how it processed personal data for AI model training. It also didn’t include personal data processed during the training process.

'Notably, OpenAI did not include the processing of personal data in connection with model training in the information on categories of personal data or categories of data recipients,' the complaint read.

If OpenAI’s alleged GDPR breach is confirmed, the company is looking at a fine of up to 4% annual turnover, or €20 million - whichever sum is greater. 

Neither OpenAI or the Polish data watchdog have commented on the complaint so far. OpenAI is keeping quiet, while the Polish data protection watchdog said it doesn’t comment on open complaints.

Via: TechCrunch

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.