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OpenAI, Microsoft defeat US consumer-privacy lawsuit for now

Post Time:2024-05-27 Source:Reuters Author:Blake Brittain Views:

May 24 (Reuters) - A California federal judge on Friday dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit that accused OpenAI and Microsoft (MSFT.O) of using stolen personal data to train OpenAI's popular chatbot ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence systems.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said in the two-page ruling that the 204-page complaint was "not only excessive in length" but "contains swaths of unnecessary and distracting allegations making it nearly impossible to determine the adequacy of the plaintiffs' legal claims."

The judge said the plaintiffs could file an amended complaint.

"Our clients are on the right side of this, and we will amend with the requested precision and brevity," the plaintiffs' attorney Ryan Clarkson of Clarkson Law Firm said in a statement.

OpenAI and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the decision.

The case was brought last year by public-interest focused Clarkson Law Firm and personal-injury law giant Morgan & Morgan. They accused OpenAI and its largest financial backer Microsoft of misusing personal data from social media platforms and other sites to teach AI how to respond to human prompts. The companies denied the claims.

Many prominent copyright owners including authors and newspapers have also separately sued tech companies including OpenAI and Microsoft over the alleged misuse of their work to train AI systems.

Chhabria said on Friday that the consumer lawsuit contained "irrelevant" asides -- including "three-plus pages discussing copyright concerns" despite not including any copyright claims -- as well as "rhetoric and policy grievances that are not suitable for resolution by federal courts."

"The development of AI technology may well give rise to grave concerns for society, but the plaintiffs need to understand that they are in a court of law, not a town hall meeting," Chhabria said.

The case is Cousart v. OpenAI LP, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:23-cv-04557.