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Samsung Bans its employees from using ChatGPT and other AI tools

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

In Short

  • Samsung has banned employees' use of generative AI.

  • This has been done to avoid data leaks.

  • Earlier, Samsung employees had leaked sensitive information by using ChatGPT.


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The move comes after Samsung discovered its staff uploaded sensitive code to ChatGPT in April this year, dealing a setback to the spread of such technology in the workplace.


The memo says that the company is concerned that data transmitted to such artificial intelligence platforms including Google Bard and Bing is stored on external servers, making it difficult to retrieve and delete, and could end up being disclosed to other users.


As per the Bloomberg report, Samsung conducted a survey last month about the use of AI tools internally according to which 65% of respondents believe that such services pose a security risk.


"Interest in generative AI platforms such as ChatGPT has been growing internally and externally," Samsung told staff.


"While this interest focuses on the usefulness and efficiency of these platforms, there are also growing concerns about security risks presented by generative AI."

Generative AI tools first made headlines in November 2022 when OpenAI launched ChatGPT.


The chatbot service stirred up a storm of interest in the technology, some Wall Street banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., and Citigroup Inc. either banned or restricted its use. Italy, though now reversed, also barred the use of ChatGPT over privacy fears. while other banks such as Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo have also either banned or restricted the use of such tools. New York City schools have banned ChatGPT over cheating and misinformation fears, while data protection and child safety concerns were cited as the reason for ChatGPT’s temporary ban in Italy.


The ban comes after Samsung discovered that some of its staff “leaked internal source code by uploading it to ChatGPT,” according to Bloomberg.


There are concerns that uploading sensitive company information to external servers operated by AI providers risks exposing it publicly, and limits Samsung’s ability to delete it after the fact. News of Samsung’s policy comes a little over a month after ChatGPT experienced a bug that temporarily exposed some chat histories, and potentially payment information, to other users of the service.


With the new policy, Samsung abstains its employees from the use of generative AI systems on company-owned computers, tablets and phones, as well as on its internal networks.


"We ask that you diligently adhere to our security guidelines and failure to do so may result in a breach or compromise of company information resulting in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment," Samsung said in the memo.


"HQ is reviewing security measures to create a secure environment for safely using generative AI to enhance employees' productivity and efficiency," the memo said.


"However, until these measures are prepared, we are temporarily restricting the use of generative AI."


The new rules, however, do not affect the company's devices sold to consumers, such as Android smartphones and Windows laptops.

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