ChatGPT's history is temporarily unavailable: Here's what happened
If you go to ChatGPT and look for your previous conversations with the chatbot, you won't find any. The unavailability of history is a continuation of events from yesterday that resulted in a major outage. The issues were not limited to the outage or unavailability of history. That brings us to the question, why is ChatGPT's history unavailable?
Why does this story matter?
- ChatGPT is the fastest-growing consumer application ever. Over 100 million users frequent the app to ask questions about everything under the Sun and beyond.
- The increased dependence on ChatGPT means users share different kinds of data with the chatbot. How secure is this data?
- Can ChatGPT's and OpenAI's security be breached? And what happens if it is breached?
ChatGPT suffered a major outage
ChatGPT suffered a major outage yesterday. According to status.openai.com, the outage lasted for around four hours. The outage even affected ChatGPT Plus subscribers. The chatbot's paid tier is supposed to provide priority to its members even during peak hours. Problems eased over time, but even then, some issues persisted. The unavailability of chat history stems from the same outage.
A bug in OpenAI software caused the issue
A bug in an unnamed piece of OpenAI software is behind the disappearance of past conversations on ChatGPT. OpenAI shut down ChatGPT on Monday to deal with the bug. However, it seems that the company has yet to deal with the issue comprehensively. If you visit ChatGPT, you will see the message, "We're working to restore this feature as soon as possible."
ChatGPT users saw the conversation history of others
The bug's exploits do not end there. Some ChatGPT users spotted conversation histories that were not their own. Users posted screenshots of ChatGPT's left panel with prompts unknown to them. One user even saw Chinese prompts in history. This led to many fearing whether their accounts were hacked.
This user saw Chinese in chat history
Users should be careful to not share sensitive information
Fortunately, users were only able to see the titles of past conversations and not the full transcript. The bug has put the spotlight on privacy and security concerns while using ChatGPT. Users should be careful about what they share with the chatbot. However, with humanity still understanding the chatbot's potential, it can be very tempting to share personal information.