Samsung restricts use of generative AI tools after employees leak sensitive data using ChatGPT


By Divyanshi Sharma: About a month back, Samsung had to deal with a setback after some of its employees leaked sensitive data using ChatGPT. Within a month, there were three separate incidents of confidential information being leaked via the popular AI chatbot.

Basically, engineers in the company’s semiconductor division were using the tool to help solve coding problems. However, sensitive information including source codes for new programs and internal meeting notes was inadvertently uploaded onto the platform. Now, we all know that ChatGPT saves data which it uses to train itself. This implied that the source code of the new programmes and other sensitive information of Samsung were in the hands of OpenAI, ChatGPT’s parent company.

Samsung bans use of generative AI

In order to prevent such incidents from happening in the future, the company announced a new policy through a memo sent on Monday, Bloomberg reports. As per the memo reviewed by the publication, Samsung is concerned that the data transmitted through artificial intelligence platforms like ChatGPT, Bard and Bing, is stored on external servers, making it difficult to retrieve and delete.

The memo sent by the company states, “Interest in generative AI platforms such as ChatGPT has been growing internally and externally. While this interest focuses on the usefulness and efficiency of these platforms, there are also growing concerns about security risks presented by generative AI.”

The Bloomberg report further adds that according to a survey conducted by Samsung last month on the use of AI tools, 65 percent of participants said that these services were a threat to security.

A memo was sent to employees that banned the use of generative AI services by employees, a Samsung representative told Bloomberg. However, the generative AI tools are blocked only on the company’s official devices and do not impact those that are sold to customers. In other words, if you are a customer and are buying a Samsung smartphone or laptop, you will have full access to the generative AI tools.

In the memo revealing its new policy, Samsung told employees that any violation could lead to termination of employment. The memo read, “We ask that you diligently adhere to our security guideline 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 creating its AI tools

Samsung is also reportedly creating its own AI tools to be used for various functions like software development, translation and summarising documents.

The memo said, “HQ is reviewing security measures to create a secure environment for safely using generative AI to enhance employees’ productivity and efficiency”

“However, until these measures are prepared, we are temporarily restricting the use of generative AI,” it added.

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