ChatGPT is one of the most incredible tools that the world has ever seen, and you can talk to it about almost anything.
However, ChatGPT is ultimately being hosted by OpenAI, and the data that you send runs through their servers.
This may cause you to worry about your privacy.
Are the conversations private? Is OpenAI storing everything that it said? How safe is ChatGPT to use?
These are all excellent questions. In this article, I’ll cover everything that you need to know!
Does ChatGPT Save Your Conversations?
This process is automatic, and your conversations are saved as soon as you submit a prompt, or receive a response back from ChatGPT.
Additionally, it is possible they may be reviewed by OpenAI staff in order to help improve the model, among other things.
So, you should assume anything that happens through ChatGPT – both your prompts, as well as the generated responses, can be read by OpenAI.
Note that I will cover how you can have this data deleted a little later on, however!
Update 4/25/23: OpenAI now allows you to selectively choose which conversations you want to save / train the model with. However, all of this still applies if you don’t selectively opt-out.
What If Clear / Delete The Conversation?
If you’ve used ChatGPT for a while, you’ve likely noticed that you can delete any conversation by clicking the trash icon near the conversation name.
Additionally, a ‘clear conversations’ button is present on the ChatGPT page, that can delete all conversations at once.
But does this actually delete the conversations from OpenAI’s servers?
While clearing out old conversations can aid with organization and help you find your most important conversations quickly, it shouldn’t be used to delete data from OpenAI entirely.
Instead, if you want to delete your data, you will need to delete your entire account.
Let’s look into this a bit further!
Can I Request That My ChatGPT Data Be Deleted?
Yes! If you are concerned about the data you’ve shared with ChatGPT, OpenAI does have a process in place for deleting your account – and all data that’s associated with it.
The quickest way is to simply send an email to [email protected], and include the phrase ‘Account Deletion Request’ in the subject line.
Then, include the phrase ‘Please delete my account.’ in the email body.
Note that account deletions are permanent, and you cannot create a new account once your account has been deleted.
So, this is an important consideration to make before requesting that your account and data be deleted.
Note: Currently, there is no way to delete specific prompts permanently – you can only delete your account (and all data) at once.
How To Stay Safe While Using ChatGPT
Because your conversations are saved (and tied to your account) unless you specifically request to delete them, there are some things you’ll want to be mindful of.
First things first, operate under the assumption that anything you type – and anything generated back to you, will be read and shared by someone else. While this isn’t necessarily the case, operating with this in mind covers a lot of your bases.
Next, avoid sharing any sort of personal or sensitive information with ChatGPT, such as passwords, banking information, or personal / private data you don’t want others to know about.
Finally, avoid using ChatGPT for any situations in which you wouldn’t want someone to know that you have generated the content.
For example, some people have tried using ChatGPT in classrooms, or in their work – but passed it off as their own.
Tools are coming out that can detect text generated by an AI, so it’s possible that others will find out you didn’t actually write the text yourself.
Unfortunately, ChatGPT is not completely private, and your conversations may be used to improve the model in the future.
Therefore, you should assume that everything that is said (both by you, and by ChatGPT) can be reviewed by OpenAI staff, and act accordingly.
This means that you avoid sharing any personal information that you wouldn’t want a stranger reading.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that it’s answered your questions.
If you have any other questions about ChatGPT, ask them below and I’ll be happy to help.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister