The dangers of sharing your data with online services such as ChatGPT

sharing data online services

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Have you ever wondered about the dangers of sharing your data with online services such as ChatGPT? Many are wondering today, those in favour and against, because of the doubts raised by the Italian Data Protection Authority.

Let’s delve into this topic to understand more and make informed choices.

The risks involved in sharing data with cloud services

With the rise of online services, people share more and more data with companies. 

This data is used for a variety of purposes, such as training artificial intelligence, targeted advertising, and analysis. While this can be beneficial in many ways, it also carries certain risks that need to be taken into account.

Data privacy is a major concern when it comes to sharing one’s data with online services. Before deciding to share it, it is important to understand how your data will be used and whether there are any potential risks associated with it. 

Let’s look at some of the potential risks associated with data sharing and what you can do to protect yourself and your data from these risks.

Online services such as ChatGPT use your data to train their AI systems

With the rise of AI technology, companies increasingly rely on data to train their AI systems.

Data mining and machine learning algorithms are used to collect and analyse large amounts of data from online services, such as web searches, social media posts, and online purchases. 

This data is then used to train artificial intelligence systems. With the advent of the internet, free online services have become increasingly popular. People are attracted to these services because they are convenient and easy to use.

However, there is a hidden cost associated with using free online services: the risk of losing control over one’s data.

The hidden cost of using free online services and the risk of losing control over one’s data

The use of Artificial Intelligence services trained with data that is often private or confidential, or at least sensitive, naturally follows from the previous point.

In recent years, data breaches have become increasingly frequent and it is important for everyone to be aware of the risks associated with using free online services. Not only can you lose control over your data, but you may also be vulnerable to external attacks on your network, whether corporate or domestic, or to cybercrime.

As we have seen, data sharing is an essential part of many companies and organisations today. As a user, it is important to understand how your data is shared and what rights you have regarding the privacy of your personal information. 

It is also essential to be aware of the data policies adopted by companies.

The solution: conscious technology, ethics, and offline services

Ethical and conscious technology exists. Increasingly, technology companies, in particular those using Artificial Intelligence algorithms, are investing in resources and training to raise awareness on the ethical use of technology. 

Not only a legally compliant data collection but also a traceable way of the path of this data, its usage, and output.

Not all AI solutions are a threat to privacy and data security! Often very little is needed, such as using products and services that are totally offline. 

For example, the recording kit CABOLO Interview Kit: a portable and completely secure solution for audio-video transcription of interviews and client consultations. All-in-one, everything you need is in the case. Recordings use CABOLO’s AI-enabled technology that works locally on the devices.

Sharing data with online services: authorities addressing the problem

The Italian Data Protection Authority vs ChatGPT case

The online world has become a major source of content exploitation. Governments and regulators are increasingly looking for ways to tackle this problem. 

We had proof of this with the request by the Italian Data Protection Authority on how OpenAI manages the data that trains its systems such as GPT4 and ChatGPT.

In this specific case, one of the pivotal points of the measure that led OpenAI to stop providing the service to Italian IPs, is on how data is collected, consented, managed, and possibly requested to be reconstructed, as per GDPR.

AI Act of the European Union

The Authority’s request is part of the framework of standards and questions at the European level, the AI Act, on the regulation of this type of services.

New rules are being sought to protect the rights of content creators and consumers, while ensuring that online services are held accountable for the content they host. However, the European Commission is still discussing and reviewing all aspects of this.

These regulations include measures such as strengthening copyright laws, greater transparency in terms of the use of user data by online services and stricter requirements for takedown notifications when copyrighted material is published without permission.

These measures will help protect the rights of content creators and consumers, while ensuring that online services are accountable for their actions.

What to do to protect yourself from online services that exploit your content?

With the increasing use of online services, it is important to understand how to protect yourself against the exploitation of your data. Sometimes the temptation to use a free and available service is strong, but we have to be aware of the risks we face.

Online services constantly collect information about their users, which can be used for harmful purposes, or even for the benefit of competitors.

Therefore, it is essential to take privacy protection measures when using online services. 

Let us look at some precautions you can take to ensure that your data remains safe from exploitation by online services.

3 basic precautions to take to reduce the risk of your data being used

1. Read the terms and conditions. Before creating an account or using an online service, make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions. This will help you learn how your data will be used and whether it will be shared with third parties. True, these are often long, complex and bureaucratic texts, but by accessing the service you are virtually signing your consent. Better to know what we are signing, right?

2. Do not post confidential or personal content, even in areas that require your authentication. A secret told to a neighbour is no longer a secret. So if you do not want to make your strategies known, do not spread them on the internet. Keep in mind what happened to Amazon, which discovered on ChatGPT some texts very similar to their internal and confidential documents.

3. Process your data locally: Instead of processing your data on the cloud or online services, consider using products and services that work locally on your device or an external hard drive. This will give you more control over your data and reduce the risk of it being exploited by online services. 


It is true that AI can help companies make better decisions, automate tasks, and provide personalisation for customers. However, it is also true that the flip side of the coin must be considered and measured.

There are ways to use it in a safer and more conscious way, sometimes we just have to go a little further than what the masses agree, pay attention to those small differences that are the key to services that help us in an ethical and transparent way.