Data privacy remains a concern for Language models such as ChatGPT since they need access to vast amounts of data to enhance their learning capabilities. As a result, some nations, including Italy, have prohibited using language models hosted on external servers, citing potential privacy risks.
Language models like ChatGPT are becoming increasingly popular for businesses to automate tasks and write content. However, there are concerns around data privacy, as these models require access to large amounts of data to learn and improve. This has led to some countries, such as Italy, banning the use of language models that are hosted on third-party servers, as they can pose a potential risk to privacy.
Fortunately, there are ways for businesses to use language models without compromising data privacy, such as utilizing APIs provided by trusted providers like OpenAI, hosting models on secure cloud servers, or even self-hosting their own offline language models.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a language model that can process, understand, and generate natural language text with remarkable accuracy and fluency. It can answer questions using natural language and can mimic different writing styles using the internet as its database. Since its release in November 2022, ChatGPT has become one of the most widely used language models in the world, with more than 100 million users. (Source: Reuters.) Companies use ChatGPT to improve their customer interactions and generate content, such as chatbots that can understand and respond to natural language queries and text for social media posts and marketing campaigns. However, there are concerns about the privacy implications of using language models like ChatGPT, which we will explore in this post and discuss what companies can do to mitigate them.
The Privacy Risks of Using ChatGPT
One of the main concerns with using large language models like ChatGPT is the potential for privacy risks. When you ask ChatGPT a question or give it a prompt, the organization behind the model, in this case OpenAI, can see what you're asking. They may use this information to improve their model in the future, which could mean incorporating your queries or prompts into the model.
This means that if you ask ChatGPT a sensitive question, such as financial data, customer information or business strategies are shared with ChatGPT, there is a risk that the information could be accessed by unauthorized parties. This could result in data breaches or leaks, which could have serious consequences such as loss of trust among customers or even legal action. Furthermore, if the same account is used to ask multiple sensitive questions, there is a risk that this information could be aggregated and used to identify the business, potentially leading to reputational damage or competitive disadvantage.
To protect your privacy when using ChatGPT or similar language models, it's recommended that you avoid asking sensitive questions or submitting prompts that could lead to issues if they were made public.
Italy Implements Ban on ChatGPT for Data Privacy Concerns
Italy has recently become the first Western country to ban the advanced chatbot, ChatGPT, over concerns about privacy. Although OpenAI claims compliance with privacy laws, the regulator has banned and started investigating OpenAI "with immediate effect."
Garante, the Italian data protection authority responsible for ensuring that personal data is processed lawfully and protected in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data protection laws, also said it would investigate whether OpenAI complied with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It revealed that the app had encountered a data breach involving user conversations and payment information. It further stated that there was no legal basis to justify the mass collection and storage of personal data to train the platform's algorithms. Moreover, since there was no way to verify the age of users, the app "exposes minors to absolutely unsuitable answers compared to their degree of development and awareness."
Google's rival AI chatbot, Bard, is now available, but only for specific users over the age of 18 due to the same concerns. OpenAI has 20 days to address the watchdog's concerns, under penalty of a fine of €20 million ($21.7m) or up to 4% of annual revenues. ChatGPT is already blocked in several other countries, including China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
The Irish data protection commission has reached out to the Italian regulator to comprehend the reason behind the ban and stated it would coordinate with all EU data protection authorities regarding the matter. Meanwhile, BEUC, a consumer advocacy group, has urged EU and national authorities to investigate ChatGPT and similar chatbots, citing a complaint filed in the US. Although the EU is currently developing the world's first legislation on AI, BEUC fears it may take years for the AI Act to take effect, leaving consumers at risk of harm from inadequately regulated technology. Ursula Pachl, deputy director general of BEUC, warned that AI poses a serious threat to society and requires greater public scrutiny and control from public authorities. (Source: BBC).
Privacy-Friendly Solutions for Using LLMs in Business
Fortunately, there are solutions that can allow companies to use LLMs without compromising their data privacy.
1. One option is to use the API provided by OpenAI. The terms of service clearly state that the content provided by the user is not used to improve their services, ensuring that sensitive information remains confidential. (Source: OpenAI).
2. Another option is to host ChatGPT on the company's Microsoft Azure servers, which offers out-of-the-box solutions that are both secure and cost-effective. (Source: Microsoft)
3. Finally, self-hosting an LLM can be an expensive solution, but it allows organizations to maintain full control over their data. Before proceeding with this option, a security assessment should be conducted, and the NCSC's principles for the security of machine learning should be consulted.
Self-Hosted LLM Solutions Made Easy with Upsum's Expertise.
If you're considering implementing your own self-hosted LLM solution, Upsum can help. Our team of experts can help you find the best solution for your company, assess the risks, and build an offline LLM solution tailored to your specific needs.
We understand that setting up and maintaining a self-hosted LLM solution can be complex and time-consuming, taking up to 1 year. That's why we offer installation and support services, as well as training and guidance to help your team get the most out of your LLM solution. At Upsum, we prioritize data privacy and security, and we understand the importance of keeping sensitive information confidential. That's why we take a rigorous approach to security, ensuring that your data remains protected at all times.
If you're interested in learning more about how Upsum can help you implement a self-hosted LLM solution, please fill out the form below to get in touch with us. Our team will be happy to discuss your needs and help you find the best solution for your business.
Don't let concerns about data privacy hold your business back from harnessing the power of LLMs. With Upsum's expertise and support, you can implement a self-hosted LLM solution that meets your needs and keeps your data safe and secure. Contact us today to get started.