OpenAI, Creator of ChatGPT, Allegedly Under FTC Investigation for Consumer Protection Concerns

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has initiated an investigation into OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, to determine whether the company violated consumer protection laws by scraping public data and disseminating false information through its chatbot. Reports from the Washington Post and the New York Times provide details on the investigation.

According to the reports, the FTC sent OpenAI a 20-page letter, requesting comprehensive information about its AI technology, products, customers, privacy measures, and data security arrangements. The agency’s spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI, expressed disappointment that news of the investigation was leaked. He emphasized the company’s commitment to working with the FTC while highlighting the importance of trust and the company’s dedication to complying with the law. Altman stated, “We protect user privacy and design our systems to learn about the world, not private individuals.”

Although the FTC’s investigation poses a significant regulatory challenge to the rapidly expanding AI industry, OpenAI and other companies in the field face additional obstacles. Comedian Sarah Silverman and two other authors have filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, alleging copyright infringement. They claim that the companies’ AI systems were illegally trained using datasets that included unauthorized copies of their works.

The news of the investigation broke shortly after a contentious hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee, in which FTC Chair Lina Kahn faced criticism from Republican lawmakers. They accused her of being overly aggressive in pursuing technology companies for alleged misconduct. Khan defended the need for increased regulation due to the growth of these companies and argued that the concentration of power in the tech industry could have negative impacts on the economy and consumers.

On a separate note, OpenAI and The Associated Press announced a partnership agreement in which OpenAI will obtain a license to access AP’s archive of news stories.


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