File this under ClosedAI.
ChatGPT for a long time on March 20th posted a giant orange warning on top of their interface that they’re unable to load chat history.
After a while it switched to this more subtle one, still disappointing.
Every session is being treated as throwaway, which seems very inherently contradictory to their entire raison d’être: “learning” by reading a giant corpus.
Speaking of reasons, their status page has been intentionally vague about privacy violations that caused the history feature to be immediately pulled.
Note a bizarre switch in tone from 09:41 investigating an issue with the “web experience” and 14:14 “service is restored” (chat was pulled offline for 4 hours) and then a highly misleading RESOLVED: “we’re continuing to work to restore past conversation history to users.”
Nothing says resolved like we’re continuing to work to restore things that are missing with no estimated time of it being resolved (see web experience view above).
All that being said, they’re not being very open about the fact that chat users were seeing other users’ chat history. This level of privacy nightmare is kind of a VERY BIG DEAL.
Not good. Note the different languages. At first you may think this blows up any trust in the privacy of chat data, yet also consider whether someone protesting “not mine” could ever prove it. Here’s another example.
A “foreign” language seems to have tipped off Joseph something was wrong with “his” history. What’s that Joseph, are you sure you don’t speak fluent Chinese?
Room temperature superconductivity and sailing in Phuket seem like exactly the kind of thing someone would deny chats about if they were to pretend not to speak Chinese. That “Oral Chinese Proficiency Test” chat is like icing on his denial cake.
I’m kidding, of course. Or am I?
Here’s another example from someone trying to stay anonymous.
Again mixed languages and themes, which would immediately tip someone off because they’re so unique. Imagine trying to prove you didn’t have a chat about Fitrah and Oneness.
OpenAI reports you’ve been chatting about… do you even have a repudiation strategy when the police knock on your door with such chat logs in hand?
The whole site was yanked offline and OpenAI’s closed-minded status page started printing nonsensical updates about an experience being fixed and history restored, which obviously isn’t true yet and doesn’t explain what went wrong.
More to the point, what trust do you have in the company given how they’ve handled this NIGHTMARE scenario in privacy? What evidence do you have that there is any confidentiality or integrity safety at all?
Your ChatGPT data may have leaked. Who saw it? Your ChatGPT data may have been completely tampered, like dropping ink in a glass of water. Who can fix that? And if they can fix that, doesn’t that go back to begging the question of who can see it?
All that being said, maybe these screenshots are not confidentiality breaches at all, just integrity. Perhaps ChatGPT is generating history and injecting their own work into user data, not mixing actual user data.
Let’s see what happens, as this “Open” company saying they need access to all the world’s data for free without restriction… abruptly runs opaque and closed, denying its own users access to their own data with almost no explanation at all.
Watching all these ChatGPT users get burned so badly feels like we’re in an AI Hindenburg moment.