This article has been republished with permission from Binance News.
According to Cointelegraph, OpenAI and Microsoft have been named as defendants in a class-action lawsuit over their alleged use of web scraping techniques to obtain private data for training ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence (AI) models. The lawsuit was filed on September 5 in San Francisco by a law firm representing two unnamed engineers.
The filing with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California claims that the defendants engaged in unlawful and harmful conduct in developing, marketing, and operating their AI products, including ChatGPT-3.5, ChatGPT-4.0, Dall-E, and Vall-E. The products allegedly use stolen private information, including personally identifiable information, from hundreds of millions of internet users without their informed consent or knowledge.
The lawsuit accuses OpenAI of secretly harvesting massive amounts of personal data from the internet after restructuring in 2019. The plaintiffs argue that without this theft of private and copyrighted information, the products would not be the multi-billion-dollar business they are today. The plaintiffs are seeking damages and asking the courts to order the defendants to conduct nonrestitutionary disgorgement of profits made as a result of the alleged illegal scraping of data.
This is not the first time Microsoft has been involved in a lawsuit over alleged scraping. In 2019, the company issued a cease-and-desist order on behalf of its LinkedIn brand to data analytics company HiQ over its admitted data scraping practices. The case eventually resulted in a settlement, with HiQ ordered to cease its scraping activities. Microsoft and OpenAI have not yet responded to requests for comment.