Canada to launch probe into OpenAI over privacy concerns

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows OpenAI and ChatGPT logos

(Reuters) - Canadian privacy regulators are launching a joint investigation into ChatGPT-parent OpenAI's data collection and usage, becoming the latest major government to take a closer look at the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

The federal privacy regulator, along with counterparts in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, will investigate if OpenAI has obtained consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information of residents via ChatGPT, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada said on Thursday.

OpenAI did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The launch of chatbot sensation ChatGPT has fueled an AI race among tech giants such as Alphabet Inc and Meta, leaving governments in a tough spot as they mull laws to govern the use of the radical new technology.

ChatGPT can generate articles, essays, jokes and even poetry in response to prompts. OpenAI, a private company backed by Microsoft Corp, made it available to the public for free in late November.

Canada's probe will also look into whether the company has respected "its obligations with respect to openness and transparency, access, accuracy and accountability".

"As this is an active investigation, no additional details are available," the commissioner's office said, adding that the findings of the investigation would be reported publicly.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)