Japanese regulators warn OpenAI against collecting sensitive data Japanese regulators warn OpenAI against collecting sensitive data

Japanese regulators warn OpenAI against collecting sensitive data

Japan's Personal Information Protection Commission has cautioned OpenAI against collecting data without consent.

Japanese regulators warn OpenAI against collecting sensitive data

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

Japanโ€™s Personal Information Protection Commission warned OpenAI against collecting sensitive information without people’s consent, Reuters reported on June 2.

The privacy watchdog also asked OpenAI, the Microsoft-backed startup behind ChatGPT, to minimize the collection of sensitive data for machine learning. The regulator added that it may take further action against the startup in case of more concerns.

The regulator emphasized the need to balance privacy concerns and the potential benefits of generative artificial intelligence (AI), such as boosting innovation and tackling problems like climate change.

The warning comes after the Japanese government’s AI strategy council submitted a draft last week raising concerns over the lack of guardrails for AI and the risks its poses.

This is not the first time OpenAI’s data collection methods have been questioned. Canada began investigating the startup for allegedly collecting data without consent in April. In Italy, ChatGPT was temporarily banned after regulators scrutinized the firm’s security protocols.

On April 10, however, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno voiced support for OpenAI. He said Japan would consider incorporating AI like OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot into government systems if privacy and cybersecurity concerns are addressed.

The same day, OpenAI founder and CEO Sam Altman told Bloomberg that the firm is working on expanding operations to Japan. Last week, however, Altman backtracked and said the firm had no plans to leave Europe.

With the rapidly growing popularity of AI platforms, regulators around the globe are fumbling to reign in the new technology. Japan, in particular, may be incentivized to embrace AI to boost productivity amid its declining population.

In May, Altman urged the U.S. Senate to regulate large AI models through a licensing body, a set of safety standards, and independent audit requirements.

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