OpenAI Faces Another Lawsuit, Which Alleges Massive Personal Data Theft


The Gist

  • Privacy breach allegations. OpenAI reportedly harvested massive amounts of personal data illicitly.
  • Legal action escalates. OpenAI faces a series of lawsuits, alleging privacy and copyright infringement.
  • Data leak incident. ChatGPT suffered a major personal data breach, compromising user information.

OpenAI, makers of ChatGPT, secretly harvested massive amounts of personal data from the internet including private information and private conversations, medical data and information about children without notice to the owners or users of such data and without permission, according to a class-action lawsuit filed this week in the US Northern District Court of California. Microsoft, which invested $10 billion into OpenAI earlier this year, was also named a defendant.

The lawsuit, filed by Clarkson Law Firm of San Francisco, claims that without this “unprecedented theft of private and copyrighted information belonging to real people,” OpenAI’s products would not be the multi-billion-dollar business they are today. OpenAI is valued at close to $30 billion. The company upended the artificial intelligence world landscape when it debuted in November ChatGPT, the generative AI chatbot that became the fastest-growing app of all-time.

Lawsuits Against OpenAI Become the Norm

This is just the latest in a series of lawsuits to come across the desks of OpenAI’s generative AI innovators. Some in the past six months include:

These lawsuits address issues such as copyright infringement, privacy violation, lack of transparency and defamation. It’s also worth noting that the OpenAI CEO Sam Altman acknowledged in a Senate hearing that the company had been sued many times, describing most of the lawsuits as “pretty frivolous.”

ChatGPT and OpenAI haven’t been perfect, admittedly. In March, OpenAI’s ChatGPT suffered its first major personal data breach. The breach came during a March 20 outage and exposed payment-related and other personal information of 1.2% of the ChatGPT Plus subscribers who were active during a specific nine-hour window, according to a blog post by OpenAI Friday, March 24.

Related Article: Effective Ways to Prevent ChatGPT Data Breaches


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