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What went wrong with ChatGPT macOS app, and why you should update it now

What went wrong with ChatGPT macOS app, and why you should update it now

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FILE PHOTO: OpenAI’s ChatGPT macOS app was found to be storing user chats on the system in plain text.

FILE PHOTO: OpenAI’s ChatGPT macOS app was found to be storing user chats on the system in plain text.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

OpenAI’s ChatGPT macOS app was found to be storing user chats on the system in plain text until Friday, per a report by The Verge. The AI firm said they were aware of the issue and that they have shipped a new version of the app which will encrypt conversations with the ChatGPT app on macOS from now on. 

Users of ChatGPT app for Mac computers are advised to download the latest update or reinstall the app again. 

Software developer Pedro Vieito found that OpenAI was offering the ChatGPT macOS app only through their own website and that they had opted out of Apple’s sandbox protections. Sandboxing is a security system that runs an app and its data in an isolated environment so that it can’t access other parts of the system without permission.

ChatGPT not following Apple’s sandboxing requirement meant that any threat actors able to access your system could obtain user details stored in the chats, or another app could access these files without the user ever knowing. 

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Vieito pointed out the security flaw in a post on social media platform Threads, demonstrating how easy it would be for another app to read user chats. 

Sandboxing an app on the macOS is still optional. Usually, most chat applications are sandboxed given they handle sensitive data. 

However, OpenAI itself uses chats to train their AI models unless a user has opted out of it in the settings. 

OpenAI’s popular AI chatbot was made available to all macOS users just days ago on June 25 after announcing integrations with the hardware company. 



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