Skip to main content

ChatGPT gets a private mode for secret AI chats. Here’s how to use it

OpenAI just launched a new feature that makes it possible to disable your chat history when using ChatGPT, allowing you to keep your conversations more private.

Previously, every new chat would appear in a sidebar to the left, making it easy for anyone nearby to get a quick summary of how you’ve been using the AI for fun, schoolwork, or productivity. This can prove problematic when you’re discussing something you want to keep secret.

I tested ChatGPT's privacy option to disable history
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A perfect example is when you ask ChatGPT for help with gift ideas, an excellent use for OpenAI’s chatbot. If the recipient likes to dig for clues, they won’t be hard to find if a ChatGPT window is left open in your browser.

I tested this new privacy feature by disabling chat history, then asking a somewhat shocking question about faking a Windsor knot for a necktie. The option to disable history is in settings under Data Controls.

OpenAI also recently added an export option in the Data Controls section, another nod to privacy and personal control of your data. Disabling chat history and exporting your data are features that are available to both free users and subscribers.

When I clicked the big green button at the left to reenable chat history again, my embarrassing conversation that revealed my lack of knot skills was nowhere to be seen. What a relief!

OpenAI notes that unsaved chats won’t be used to train its AI models; however, they will be retained for 30 days. OpenAI claims that it will only review these chats when needed, to check for abuse. After 30 days, unsaved chats are permanently deleted.

That means your chats aren’t entirely private, so you need to be aware that they might be read by OpenAI employees. This could be a concern for business use since proprietary information might accidentally be shared with ChatGPT.

OpenAI said it is working on a new ChatGPT Business subscription to give enterprise users and professionals more control over their data. There are already business-focused AIs such as JasperAI.

Editors' Recommendations

Alan Truly
Computing Writer
Alan is a Computing Writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. A tech-enthusiast since his youth, Alan stays current on what is…
GPT-4: how to use the AI chatbot that puts ChatGPT to shame
A laptop opened to the ChatGPT website.

People were in awe when ChatGPT came out, impressed by its natural language abilities as an AI chatbot. But when the highly anticipated GPT-4 large language model came out, it blew the lid off what we thought was possible with AI, with some calling it the early glimpses of AGI (artificial general intelligence).

The creator of the model, OpenAI, calls it the company's "most advanced system, producing safer and more useful responses." Here's everything you need to know about it, including how to use it and what it can do.
What is GPT-4?
GPT-4 is a new language model created by OpenAI that can generate text that is similar to human speech. It advances the technology used by ChatGPT, which is currently based on GPT-3.5. GPT is the acronym for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, a deep learning technology that uses artificial neural networks to write like a human.

Read more
Zoom adds ChatGPT to help you catch up on missed calls
A person conducting a Zoom call on a laptop while sat at a desk.

The Zoom video-calling app has just added its own “AI Companion” assistant that integrates artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLMs) from ChatGPT maker OpenAI and Facebook owner Meta. The tool is designed to help you catch up on meetings you missed and devise quick responses to chat messages.

Zoom’s developer says the AI Companion “empowers individuals by helping them be more productive, connect and collaborate with teammates, and improve their skills.”

Read more
ChatGPT is violating your privacy, says major GDPR complaint
ChatGPT app running on an iPhone.

Ever since the first generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools exploded onto the tech scene, there have been questions over where they’re getting their data and whether they’re harvesting your private data to train their products. Now, ChatGPT maker OpenAI could be in hot water for exactly these reasons.

According to TechCrunch, a complaint has been filed with the Polish Office for Personal Data Protection alleging that ChatGPT violates a large number of rules found in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It suggests that OpenAI’s tool has been scooping up user data in all sorts of questionable ways.

Read more