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OpenAI has issued an update to its ChatGPT app for Mac, after a developer discovered the app was locally storing users' conversations with the chatbot in plain text.

2chatgpt-mac-app.jpg

Pedro José Pereira Vieito told The Verge's Jay Peters: "I was curious about why OpenAI opted out of using the app sandbox protections and ended up checking where they stored the app data."

That led Pereira Vieito to develop "ChatGPTStealer," a simple app to demonstrate how easy it is to load the chats in a text window outside of the ChatGPT app. After successfully trying out the app for himself, Peters said he was also able to see the text of conversations on his computer just by changing the file name, indicating the extent of the privacy risk.

The ChatGPT Mac app is available solely through OpenAI's website, which is why it has not been obligated to follow Apple's sandboxing requirements that apply to software distributed via the Mac App Store. The oversight basically meant any other running app or process could potentially access the ChatGPT conversations without prompting the user for permission.


After The Verge contacted OpenAI about the issue, the company released an update that it says encrypts the chats. "We are aware of this issue and have shipped a new version of the application which encrypts these conversations," OpenAI spokesperson Taya Christianson told the website. "We're committed to providing a helpful user experience while maintaining our high security standards as our technology evolves."

After downloading the update (v1.2024.171), Pereira Vieito's app no longer works, and Peters said he was no longer able to see his conversations with the chatbot in plain text.

Article Link: ChatGPT Mac App Stored User Chats in Plain Text Prior to Latest Update
 

Pezimak

macrumors 68040
May 1, 2021
3,246
3,605
🤣😂🤣 good ol Microsoft, but many companies have been caught storing sensitive data as plain text no doubt to save money. Only issue I have is no one seems to go to prison or get fined massively for it, even when hackers steal it all and sell it on or leak it on the internet.
 

vkd

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2012
977
372
Aside from being a massive security risk, this so-called Artificial Intelligence is nothing more than a disguised coup to manipulate public opinion, censor free thought by eliminating what they consider to be opposed to their desired schematic and also ultimately to insidiously monitor everybody's activity. Of course they will profess otherwise and efforts will be seen to create privacy, but as we see in these initial stages, first with Microsoft and now others including this, their prime intentions are not security based, our privacy is not something that they give a fig for. Otherwise, how could Microsoft even dream of putting into public space such a massive data collection facility as was their Copilot v1.0?
 

phenste

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2012
698
2,003
remind me again why sandboxing on the Mac App Store is bad? 😑

makes me wonder if distribution of the ChatGPT app across Apple platforms was discussed during their deal. kinda surprised Apple wouldn’t strong-arm them into a Mac App Store release of the app so as to fully comply with Apple’s security standards.
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2012
2,563
2,538
London
Aside from being a massive security risk, this so-called Artificial Intelligence is nothing more than a disguised coup to manipulate public opinion, censor free thought by eliminating what they consider to be opposed to their desired schematic and also ultimately to insidiously monitor everybody's activity. Of course they will profess otherwise and efforts will be seen to create privacy, but as we see in these initial stages, first with Microsoft and now others including this, their prime intentions are not security based, our privacy is not something that they give a fig for. Otherwise, how could Microsoft even dream of putting into public space such a massive data collection facility as was their Copilot v1.0?
With that reach you couch become a boxer.
 

JippaLippa

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2013
1,549
1,779
remind me again why sandboxing on the Mac App Store is bad? 😑

makes me wonder if distribution of the ChatGPT app across Apple platforms was discussed during their deal. kinda surprised Apple wouldn’t strong-arm them into a Mac App Store release of the app so as to fully comply with Apple’s security standards.
Yeah.
I'd expect this especially now, after the recently announced collaboration between the companies.
 

lkrupp

macrumors 68010
Jul 24, 2004
2,000
4,101
"The ChatGPT Mac app is available solely through OpenAI's website, which is why it has not been obligated to follow Apple's sandboxing requirements that apply to software distributed via the Mac App Store."

But, but, but walled gardens are evil and anticompetitive. Waiting for something like this from a third party iOS app “store”.
 

AlexJaye

Suspended
Jul 13, 2010
531
896
Aside from being a massive security risk, this so-called Artificial Intelligence is nothing more than a disguised coup to manipulate public opinion, censor free thought by eliminating what they consider to be opposed to their desired schematic and also ultimately to insidiously monitor everybody's activity. Of course they will profess otherwise and efforts will be seen to create privacy, but as we see in these initial stages, first with Microsoft and now others including this, their prime intentions are not security based, our privacy is not something that they give a fig for. Otherwise, how could Microsoft even dream of putting into public space such a massive data collection facility as was their Copilot v1.0?
You’re right. AI like ChatGPT obviously have leaning bias in 1 direction that is influenced by the creators … and look who they are.

All people have to do is ask ChatGPT what and how to think about things and voila, ideology lectures 101. AI like Google’s is already pretending to rewrite historical facts.
 
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