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OpenAI Withdraws ChatGPT’s ‘Browse With Bing’ Feature Amid Copyright and Privacy Concerns

Summary:
OpenAI has disabled Browse With Bing, the internet surfing feature available to ChatGPT Plus users.  In a tweet thread, OpenAI reasoned that the Browse feature can occasionally produce results in a manner that it doesn’t want it to. Straying Into Protected Content   “We’ve learned that ChatGPT’s “Browse” beta can occasionally display content in ways we don’t want, e.g. if a user specifically asks for a URL’s full text, it may inadvertently fulfill this request. We are disabling Browse while we fix this—want to do right by content owners,” the ChatGPT maker said in a tweet.  News reports said the development follows revelations that the AI chatbot could circumvent paywall protections on websites and inadvertently produce results that are supposed to be available exclusively

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OpenAI has disabled Browse With Bing, the internet surfing feature available to ChatGPT Plus users. 

In a tweet thread, OpenAI reasoned that the Browse feature can occasionally produce results in a manner that it doesn’t want it to.

Straying Into Protected Content  

“We’ve learned that ChatGPT’s “Browse” beta can occasionally display content in ways we don’t want, e.g. if a user specifically asks for a URL’s full text, it may inadvertently fulfill this request. We are disabling Browse while we fix this—want to do right by content owners,” the ChatGPT maker said in a tweet. 

News reports said the development follows revelations that the AI chatbot could circumvent paywall protections on websites and inadvertently produce results that are supposed to be available exclusively to qualified users. It was possible because ChatGPT Plus users can access a more powerful ChatGPT-4, which leverages up-to-date information online. The basic version of ChatGPT provides results based on information until September 2021. 

Besides, ChatGPT Plus has access to Plugin Store and Browse with Bing, which has now been disabled. ChatGPT-4, with the help of some plugins, can breach protected areas of websites, which is both embarrassing and illegal. 

Already in Legal Trouble 

OpenAI is already facing lawsuits for copyright and privacy violations. One filed in the federal court in San Francisco alleges that the company copied text from books without consent, compensation, or credit to the entities holding the copyright. Another lawsuit charged the company with collecting people’s personal information online.  

However, ChatGPT itself has been a victim of data theft. A Group-IB report in June revealed that the personal data of about 100,000 ChatGPT users has been stolen and sold on the dark net.

ChatGPT Plus is a beta version of the chatbot, primarily meant to test and collect feedback. Recalling the Browse with Bing feature, OpenAI thanked the subscribers for helping it test the application.

It’s Beta Version

“Very grateful to the ChatGPT Plus subscribers who have been helping us test the browsing feature. This is why we started with a beta—have received extremely valuable feedback, learned a lot, & will bring it back soon,” OpenAI said in the tweet thread. 

Last month, some leaked documents disclosed that ChatGPT has been working to offer file uploading, enhanced profile, workspace, and organization management features.

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