OpenAI and Microsoft are entangled in a class action lawsuit seeking $3 billion in damages. The lawsuit, filed on June 28 in a federal court in San Francisco, alleges that the companies unlawfully obtained “massive amounts of personal information” of users from the internet without their consent to train OpenAI’s ChatGPT language model.
The lawsuit, brought forward by 16 anonymous plaintiffs, accuses OpenAI and Microsoft of engaging in data scraping activities without proper registration or consent as a data broker. The plaintiffs claim that the companies secretly collected 300 billion words from the internet, including personal data such as names, contacts, email addresses, payment information, social media information, chat logs, usage data, analytics, and cookies.
OpenAI’s partnership with Microsoft, which licenses the AI technology for significant sums, amplifies the scale of the alleged data theft. The lawsuit highlights the plaintiffs’ contention that their personal information was used without their consent to develop and train OpenAI’s AI models, including GPT 3.5 and 4.0, Dall-E, and Vall-E.
The class action lawsuit demands that OpenAI and Microsoft cease their privacy-violating practices and take several corrective measures. Firstly, the plaintiffs request transparency regarding the data collected and its usage. Secondly, they seek compensation for the stolen data based on a code of ethical principles. Finally, the lawsuit calls for individuals to have the right to opt out of data collection and to cease any illegal removal of data.
This lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft is not the first time the organizations have faced legal challenges related to their AI technologies. Previous legal actions have scrutinized OpenAI’s lack of transparency regarding training methods and datasets and possible copyright infringement. The lawsuit argues that AI systems could face existential threats without immediate legal intervention and cites calls from celebrities and experts to regulate or suspend the spread of AI.
The lawsuit also emphasizes the need for AI development to be conducted within ethical boundaries and comply with privacy laws. It contends that enforcing legal measures will not stifle innovation but will ensure the safety and fairness of AI for everyone.