FTC is Investigating ChatGPT After Several Claims of Violating Consumer Protection Laws





The Federal Trade Commission is investigating OpenAI due to claims of copyright infringement, data leaks, and violating consumer protection laws. OpenAI is the creator company behind ChatGPT.

The FTC is requesting access to OpenAI’s data after issuing several warnings the app is not exempt from consumer protection laws and must comply. In a 20-page Civil Investigation Demand sent to OpenAI, the FTC wants a complete, detailed list of every complaint stemming from the company’s products “making false, misleading, disparaging, or harmful statements” about individuals possibly causing “reputational harm.”

A handful of people have already sought legal action against OpenAI claiming ChatGPT had made up false information about them including sexual assault, harassment, and embezzlement schemes all backed up by sources that didn’t exist.

The Washington Post reports “The salvo represents the most potent regulatory threat to date to OpenAI’s business in the United States.” Congress is still developing new regulations to specifically include AI technology and legislation isn’t expected to be complete for several months.

The Civil Investigation Demand reads: 

“Whether the ‘Company’, as defined herein, in connection with offering or making available products and services incorporating, using, or relying on Large Language Models has engaged in unfair or deceptive privacy or data security practices or engages in unfair or deceptive practices relating to risks of harm to consumers, including reputational harm, in violation of ‘Section 5’ of the FTC Act and whether Commission action to obtain monetary relief would in the public interest.”

OpenAI is going to work with the agency and provide the requested documents. 

In response CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman, said in a tweet, “It is very disappointing to see the FTC’s request start with a leak and does not help build trust. That said, it’s super important to us that [our] technology is safe and pro-consumer, and we are confident we follow the law.”

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