Precautions about using ChatGPT at IU

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Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer (ChatGPT) is an online model designed to mimic human interaction via text conversation, and is one of several generative AI tools available for public use. It was launched by OpenAI in November 2022 as a more versatile alternative to existing chatbot tools. The University Privacy Office has developed the following guidelines for Indiana University students, faculty, and staff who may be considering using ChatGPT.

  • This product has not been reviewed through IU's Third Party Assessment (3PA), and there are currently no contract protections in place for any data shared with this system. Because IU does not have control over OpenAI's privacy practices or policies, it cannot guarantee how institutional data could be shared in the future. IU is currently evaluating alternatives to the public version of ChatGPT.
  • Do not share institutional data with this tool. Providing any personally identifiable information or university internal information, such as development code for systems hosting institutional data, is a violation of IU policy.
  • Microsoft Copilot, available for use by IU faculty and staff, is the recommended way to use generative AI within the IU environment. It is built on the same AI models and data as ChatGPT, so it can be used to write and summarize content, create code, and answer complex questions. As part of the university's enterprise agreement with Microsoft, Copilot is approved to interact with data classified up to and including University-Internal data. To use Copilot, you must be logged in with your Microsoft 365 at IU account (your email address and your IU passphrase). For information about browser and app compatibility, see About Microsoft Copilot at IU.
  • For more, see Acceptable uses of generative AI services at IU.

ChatGPT in IU classes

If instructors wish to use this tool in their courses, they should provide a disclaimer to their students that reiterates that IU has no control over how this data will be used in the future. Students expressing privacy concerns about sharing their personal information should be offered an alternative to use of this tool.

Faculty will need to manage any potential academic integrity issues, such as students receiving aid in exams, writing papers, or otherwise seeking help with assignments using this model.

Incidental personal use of ChatGPT

People wishing to use this tool recreationally should understand that they are consenting to provide their name, cell phone number, email, and IP address and browser information to this third party by their own consent. Individuals should consent only to sharing their own personal information. Providing any personally identifiable information about other individuals is against IU policy.

OpenAI has created an "incognito mode" in ChatGPT for users that do not want their conversation history to be saved or used to train the large-language model AI chatbot. Chats will still be retained behind the scenes for 30 days before permanent deletion, and you will still need to provide personally identifiable information to create an account. For more, see OpenAI introduces ChatGPT incognito mode.

Even if you use generative AI tools for activities that do not share personal or institutional data, you should still check the tool's output for accuracy. Since these tools have been known to produce inaccurate content (sometimes called "hallucinations"), verify any factual information generated by an AI tool, and make sure to reference the tool as you would any other source.

If you have any privacy-related concerns about ChatGPT, or questions about the type of data that can be shared with it, email

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Last modified on 2024-02-05 15:21:55.