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ChatGPT Creator OpenAI Faces Class-Action Lawsuit for Alleged Data Theft

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OpenAI, the renowned creator of the widely used chatbot ChatGPT, is facing a class-action lawsuit in California for alleged data theft and privacy breaches. As the field of AI technology gains significant momentum, both the European Union and the United States have taken steps to propose regulations for this emerging sector. However, OpenAI now finds itself entangled in legal troubles regarding the collection of private user information from the internet. 

The lawsuit, filed on June 28 by Clarkson Law Firm in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, asserts that OpenAI unlawfully scraped data from various sources such as social media comments, blog posts, Wikipedia articles, and even personal family recipes. The plaintiffs, consisting of 16 individuals, argue that OpenAI violated their copyrights and privacy rights by utilizing their private information without obtaining their consent. If these allegations are proven true, OpenAI may be found to be violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a law that has been applied in previous web-scraping cases. Microsoft, a major investor in OpenAI, has also been named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit further claims that OpenAI’s products employ stolen private information, including personally identifiable data, from millions of internet users, including minors, without their knowledge or informed consent. Clarkson Law Firm emphasizes that OpenAI’s actions in collecting and misappropriating obscure personal data for the development of an untested technology have put individuals at an unacceptable level of risk, which violates principles of responsible data protection and usage.

The immense popularity of ChatGPT has propelled AI technology into the spotlight over the past year. As governments worldwide take notice of the advancements in this field, legislative bodies such as those in the United States and the European Union have begun proposing regulations to govern the nascent industry. However, OpenAI’s current legal challenges underscore the importance of addressing data privacy concerns and ensuring responsible data handling practices within the AI sector.

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