Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ChatGPT; Helpful Tool or Serious Breach of Privacy?

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Image commercially licensed from: Unsplash

ChatGPT, the chatbot powered by artificial intelligence, is surging in popularity and causing a stir across the world in its abilities to write, create, code, and mimic a craft using data pulled from the internet. AI has been around since the 1950’s, yet it is gaining recent popularity due to the massive amounts of available data, more efficient computers, and higher amounts of storage. It can be a helpful tool, providing services that once took several hours of effort and now compiling it into a few seconds with adequate results. Although an impressive form of technology representative of the digital age, is ChatGPT the modern entrepreneur’s dream come true, or a nightmare? ChatGPT in particular is concerning due to its ability to breach privacy laws, create malware to spy on others’ data, or share incorrect information.

Jodi Daniels, owner of Red Clover Advisors and expert in the field of data privacy conservation shares her concern about the data being used by AI and where it’s coming from. “No one asked if the data was allowed to be used. It just scrapes it unbeknownst to the individual.” The creations of ChatGPT are not being created out of nothing; rather taken from someone else’s data. This “bot” does not discriminate, and there is no way to direct it from where to take or tell it not to take from somewhere else. Jodi shares “Right now, there are no individual rights.  A person cannot ask gpt to see the data it has or ask for it to be deleted.  – which is a requirement under many privacy laws including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).” GDPR is considered the gold standard of privacy laws providing privacy and human rights. ChatGPT bypasses this law and can put many businesses at risk.

Access to Personal Information

In order to sign up for an account using ChatGPT, one has to provide a phone number and email address. Anything the user plugs into their ChatGPT will be programmed to be associated with that email and phone number. It can also view associated social media pages, creating a database of information that could reveal to others private and personal information about that account holder, simply due to the fact that they created an account and began to play around with its program. “When people use gpt and ask it questions or provide information for it to function, it’s giving data to feed the algorithm and that could be sensitive information that was just shared or it might be used in ways that weren’t anticipated. This is also important for companies who might be sharing client or company confidential information to a third party that will use that data for other purposes.”

Potential for Fraudulent Activity

This alarming breach of privacy can be used as a weapon for many ill-meaning individuals. Daniels shares, “Security risks exist too – fraudsters can use the information to send phishing campaigns and use it for business email compromises.” Spam is already an issue. We are harassed daily with calls, emails, and messages. How many of these are from AI, ChatGPT, or stolen data? It’s important for everyone to remember that Artificial Intelligence does not replace the human mind; the idea may be helpful and impressive, but is also flawed and can wreak havoc in our modern digital world.

Protect Yourself

Experts like Jodi Daniels can help consult on how to protect your privacy and what measures to take in order to prevent AI from accessing your data. Taking these measures can play a huge role in preventing fraud, hackers, data leaks and ensure that you are using GPT in a privacy friendly way. For more information on data privacy consulting and compliance, check out Jodi Daniels on her Website

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