All Your Online Posts Now Belong to the AI, States Google

K. C. Sabreena Basheer 11 Jul, 2023 • 3 min read

In a recent update to its privacy policy, Google, often recognized for its robust AI tools, announced a noteworthy change. Specifically, the company clearly expressed its entitlement to collect and utilize almost all the content you share online to bolster its artificial intelligence capabilities. Within this piece, we shall delve into the consequences of this update & examine its potential influence on users’ online encounters.

Also Read: AI Is Stealing Your Data – Say Experts

Google's updated privacy policy states that all the content available online, including our private posts, will be made accessible to AI.

Google’s New Policy: Your Words, Google’s Ownership

Google’s updated privacy policy emphasizes that the company may now use any content you share online to improve its services and develop new AI products and features. This means that if Google can access your words, consider them to be in the company’s possession, stored somewhere deep within their chatbot infrastructure.

Also Read: The Controversy of AI Training With Personal Data: A Deep Dive Into Bard’s Use of Gmail

Expanding AI Capabilities

The amended language in Google’s policy sheds light on the new ways your online musings may be utilized to advance the company’s AI tools. While the previous policy referred to the data being used for “language models,” the updated policy now explicitly mentions using “AI models” for products like Google Translate, Bard, and Cloud AI.

Also Read: Meta Open-Sources AI Model Trained on Text, Image & Audio Simultaneously

Google will use all of our online published content to improve AI capabilities.

Going Beyond Conventional Privacy Policies

Unlike typical privacy policies, which outline how businesses utilize user information within their services, Google’s policy suggests a broader scope. It appears that Google is reserving the right to scrape and leverage data from any public corner of the internet, treating the entire web as its AI playground.

Also Read: Google Rolls Out SAIF Framework to Make AI Models Safer

The widespread web scraping practices conducted by Google, as well as other companies like OpenAI, raise questions regarding their legality. The coming years may witness the courts grappling with copyright issues that once seemed like mere science fiction. Companies like Twitter and Reddit have already taken measures to restrict access to their platforms in an attempt to safeguard their intellectual property.

Also Read: OpenAI and Meta Sued for Copyright Infringement

OpenAI, Meta, and other companies face lawsuits for copyright infringement.

The Fallout from API Changes

Twitter and Reddit’s decision to limit free access to their API has had unintended consequences. These changes have disrupted third-party tools that countless users relied on to access these platforms. Twitter once even considered charging public entities for posting, a decision that was met with intense backlash and subsequently retracted.

Also Read: OpenAI Provides Access For GPT-4

Elon Musk’s Concerns

Elon Musk, the tech entrepreneur, has been vocal about the dangers of web scraping. He attributed recent Twitter mishaps to the need to prevent unauthorized data extraction from his platform. However, experts in the IT industry argue that rate-limiting and restricted access were likely reactions to technical issues caused by mismanagement or incompetence.

Also Read: Google Warns Employees About Chatbot Usage, Here’s Why

Elon Musk expresses his concerns regarding Google's latest privacy update.

The Twitter Dilemma

Last weekend, Twitter imposed limitations on the number of tweets users could view per day, rendering the service nearly unusable. While Musk blamed this move on data scraping and system manipulation, most IT experts believe it was primarily a crisis response to underlying technical problems.

Our Say

Google’s updated privacy policy has sparked debates about the ownership of online content and the ethical boundaries of web scraping. With AI’s ever-expanding influence, companies and individuals must navigate this new landscape carefully. It is reassuring to see the courts confront copyright issues and social media platforms adapt to protect their intellectual property. However, users must remain vigilant about their online presence and the potential implications of their digital footprints.

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