The dangers and illegality of using ChatGPT for Public Relations

July 5, 2023

The relationship between a company and its Public Relations agency is of trust, and the latter is legally obliged to protect the information shared by the company. There are dangers with using ChatGPT as it fiddles with the very fabric of the client-agency relationship. Is it worth putting the client’s “trust” at stake?

Italy became the first European country to ban ChatGPT. The primary reason is the lack of transparency in its use of data. While nations work towards bringing ChatGPT and other generative AI tools under a legal framework, it has caught up the imagination of corporate employees including PR professionals. The 100 million users feat that took years for the social media giants, was surpassed by the generative AI in just three months. 

The lack of transparency in its use of data means that while you are feeding aka ‘training’ the AI language model. The information goes into this rabbit hole called a server and cannot be retrieved or deleted. And ChatGPT may use that information to ‘improve’ the results for other users. In short, you could end up disclosing sensitive information to the world.

The lingering concerns

The Samsung team discovered it the hard way when an engineer leaked sensitive source code via ChatGPT. It was too late before it could warn the staff and realised that the information is gone forever. Amazon is still scratching its head over how the response from ChatGPT resembles their undisclosed internal data. These companies have joined the list of many to ban ChatGPT at work until they are prepared to counter it.

The data recency until September 2021, as claimed by ChatGPT, also comes under a scanner with these leaks. And as ChatGPT advances to offer more sophisticated paid versions and gives up to the increasing demands of recent data by the paid subscribers, it is not an afterthought that the tool will provide real-time information too.

Taking responsibility is urgent

The world of public relations is fascinated by the abilities of ChatGPT. For some, generative AI is becoming a core business offering, while PR professionals rely on ChatGPT to fulfil their duties and stay ahead of time-bound activities. 

Thousands of PR professionals adding new information to ChatGPT creates a loophole that puts client reputation and business at stake. The promised confidentiality to the client is compromised, endangering the client’s trust in the PR partner. 

Safeguarding trust and reputation of a business has never been so important. PR professionals need to take responsibility and ensure that there is no risk to their clients today, as well in the future.

Conclusion on using ChatGPT

Yes, ChatGPT improves efficiency and enables time for creativity. However, public relations professionals must maintain the confidentiality of the information shared by the client. It will be wrong to assume that only some of that information is sensitive, but as per the non-disclosure agreement signed by the PR partner, it is their legal obligation to protect any information shared by the client. The client has every right to take legal action if their PR partner overlooks their ChatGPT concerns.

BCM – Global B2B PR Agency

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