Report states that the FTC is investigating the firm responsible for ChatGPT due to concerns regarding data security and dissemination of false information.

The company behind the popular artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over potentially engaging in deceptive privacy practices or harming consumers, The Washington Post reported Thursday. 

The agency is requesting OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, send over records about how it addresses risks related to its AI models, according to a 20-page memo sent to the company reported by the Post. 

The expansive request from the FTC represents the latest — and seemingly most direct — regulatory threat to the company since it launched ChatGPT in November. 

The FTC asked OpenAI to provide detailed descriptions of all complaints it had received of products making “false, misleading, disparaging or harmful” statements about people.

The agency also asked for records related to a security incident the company disclosed in March that allowed some users to see payment-related information, the Post reported. 

Spokespeople for the FTC and OpenAI did not respond to requests for comment from The Hill. 

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee in May, his first official public hearing before senators, and faced a relatively welcoming panel. Altman received a much warmer reception compared to the hostile hearings featuring tech executives in the past. 

At the same time, however, lawmakers are racing ahead to try to understand the technology as they mull possible legislative action. On Tuesday, Senators received their first classified briefing on AI risks, featuring top defense and intelligence officials. The briefing is part of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) plan to mitigate AI risks. 

The top senator also released a framework for AI regulation in June and is working with a bipartisan group of senators on the issue. However, there is not yet clear, broad bipartisan consensus to move forward with a legislative package. 

While lawmakers weigh new rules, the FTC and other agencies have pledged to enforce existing laws against potential AI threats.

In a New York Times op-ed published in May, FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan said the agency will be vigilant in monitoring for “unfair or deceptive” uses of AI. 

The FTC’s request comes as Khan faces a House Judiciary hearing Thursday about about oversight of the agency. Republicans on the panel are likely to grill the her over how she is leading the agency and its push to rein in the power of tech giants. 

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