Data privacy and security concerns surrounding generative artificial intelligence are driving many businesses to impose restrictions on their employees’ use of the technology and to outright ban it in some cases, according to a recent report from San Jose, California-based technology giant Cisco.
In a global survey of 2,600 privacy and security professionals, 61% of respondents said their organizations control which GenAI tools can be used by employees, and another 63% said they limit the kind of data that can be entered into such tools. More than one in four (27%) said their organizations have banned GenAI applications altogether, at least for now.
“As this technology is still evolving rapidly, we expect the type and nature of the controls to also evolve as organizations seek to harness the power of GenAI without risking unauthorized sharing of confidential or personal information,” the report said.
The rapid rise of generative AI is posing a host of challenges for both businesses and governments.
“We hear how these automated technologies could open up the door to breakthroughs across fields ranging from science to education, making life better for millions of people,” Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan said last week during an agency tech summit hosted online.
“But we’ve also already seen how these tools can turbo-charge fraud, automate discrimination and entrench surveillance, putting people in harm’s way,” she said.
Prominent companies including JPMorgan Chase, Northrup Grumman, Apple, Verizon, and Spotify have entirely blocked internal use of ChatGPT, the wildly popular generative AI tool created by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, with several citing privacy and security concerns, CNN Business reported in September.
Cisco’s research found that many individuals have entered information into AI tools that could be problematic, including employee information (45%) or non-public information about the company (48%).
In a November survey by Paro, a technology-based finance talent pool provider, 83% of finance leaders viewed AI as a technology that is crucial to the future of finance, but 42% had not yet adopted it. In the study, cybersecurity and data security ranked as a top AI concern (54%), followed by the loss of human judgment or oversight (39%), and cost of acquisition or integration.
“Everybody agrees that this is the future, but there are quite a few concerns about how to implement and govern it,” Paro CEO Anita Samojednik previously told CFO Dive.