- You can opt out of ChatGPT’s use of your chat data for training, ensuring your conversations remain private.
- Disabling ChatGPT’s data collection feature means you lose access to your chat history, but you can easily turn it back on.
- OpenAI retains all conversations for 30 days and reviews them for safety purposes, regardless of whether you opt out of data collection.
While ChatGPT is a fantastic AI tool, certain privacy concerns have surrounded it since its November 2022 launch. One such concern is OpenAI’s use of user chat data to further train its LLMs.
But worry not; you can opt out of having your chat data used, keeping your ChatGPT conversations private.
What Is ChatGPT’s Chat History and Training Feature?
When you sign up for a ChatGPT account (be it the free or premium version), ChatGPT saves your chat history and uses your chat data for future training by default.
If you don’t alter your ChatGPT privacy settings, you’ll see your chat history in the left-hand column of the main ChatGPT page. You can head back to these chats and continue from where you left off at any point, but this comes at a price: your chat data.
ChatGPT’s training data comes from a range of sources, such as books, articles, movies, and so on, but its continued training often uses preexisting conversations. But where do these come from?
While OpenAI doesn’t claim to do anything nefarious with your chat data, the OpenAI FAQ states your chats “may be reviewed by [its] AI trainers to improve [its] systems.” OpenAI can use your conversations at its discretion, feeding them to its large language model (LLM) in the training process.
However, in April 2023, OpenAI started offering users the choice to disable or enable chat history and training data collection.
How to Opt-Out of ChatGPT’s Chat History and Training Feature
There’s one downside of opting out of ChatGPT’s chat data feature, and that’s the loss of your chat history. This doesn’t just mean OpenAI can’t keep a history of your chats; it also means you cannot view your chat history. Therefore, returning to previous chats becomes impossible, rendering all your previous chat data inaccessible. Note that this doesn’t delete your ChatGPT history but does make it off-limits until you re-enable the chat history and training feature.
But if you’re okay with this, you can easily opt out of ChatGPT’s history and training feature with just a few clicks.
First, click on your profile name at the bottom-left of the main page and head to Settings & Beta.
In your settings, click on the Data controls option. Now, you’ll see a setting named Chat history & training. This feature will be active by default, but a simple click on the toggle will disable it instantly. Now the feature has been turned off, you’ll notice your chat history is no longer accessible on the main page.
ChatGPT lets you turn the feature back on by clicking the Enable chat history option that appears over your history list, but this will re-enable both your chat history and the chat data collection for training.
For the highest level of privacy, it’s wise to keep this setting disabled wherever possible.
Once you disable this feature, all future chats will not be used for training, but previous chats that took place while the feature was enabled are still usable to OpenAI.
ChatGPT Data Collection You Can’t Opt Out From
Though you can disable ChatGPT’s history and training feature, certain kinds of data collection you cannot avoid. Namely, OpenAI keeps all your conversations for 30 days to review them for anything harmful or inappropriate. In the aforementioned FAQ, OpenAI writes:
As part of our commitment to safe and responsible AI, we review conversations to improve our systems and to ensure the content complies with our policies and safety requirements.
OpenAI’s statement on history and training data controls explains that the company will “retain new conversations for 30 days and review them only when needed to monitor for abuse, before permanently deleting.” Be aware this is the case regardless of whether you’ve opted out of the chat history and training feature.
OpenAI also keeps note of your email address, name, and payment details if you’re signed up for the ChatGPT Plus subscription (which is charged monthly). However, to truly delete all of your ChatGPT data, you’ll need to completely delete your ChatGPT account.