Both Microsoft and OpenAI have been sued by 16 individuals that claim OpenAI collected and divulged their personal data without consent.

According to the complaint, filed in a federal court in San Francisco by 16 individuals operating under pseudonyms, the two businesses failed to abide by the law when obtaining data to train their AI models, including ChatGPT, the Register reported.

The complaint claims Microsoft and OpenAI violated America’s Electronic Privacy Communications Act by the collection and use of private data, as well as unlawfully intercepting communications between users and third-party services via integrations with AI products including ChatGPT.

The complaint alleged that the personal information the two companies “collect, store, track, share, and disclose” via their AI products includes “product details, account information, names, contact details, login credentials, emails, payment information, transaction records, browser data, social media information, chat logs, usage data, analytics, cookies, searches, and other online activity.”

OpenAI has created a range of large language models (LLMs) that generate text, such as GPT-2, GPT-4, and ChatGPT, which Microsoft uses in its products.

The complaint states that “OpenAI’s sudden shift to a profit focus and alignment with Microsoft” meant the company began to “pursue profits at the expense of privacy, security, and ethics, beginning with its data collection”.

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The move comes on the same day that a separate complaint was filed in the same federal court, which saw two US authors sue open AI, alleging their works were used by the company to develop ChatGPT, Reuters reported.