ChatGPT Mac App Stored Chats in Plain Text

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ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful language model designed to understand and generate human-like text. OpenAI has expanded its accessibility by introducing the ChatGPT Mac App targeting MacBook users. Although users can already access ChatGPT on Mac through the website, the Mac app offers better integration and security. However, a huge security flaw in the Mac app was found in this application recently. This allowed 3rd party applications to access your conversations with the bot causing a privacy issue. Let’s talk more about it here:

ChatGPT Mac App’s security flaw

Yes, you heard it right! According to a report by The Verge, (an American technology news website), researchers discovered that OpenAI’s ChatGPT macOS app was storing user chats in plain text without any encryption on the system. This is a huge security risk that allows for unintended access to sensitive information.

More about the flaw

OpenAI’s recently launched ChatGPT macOS app had a safety flaw that stored user conversations without any form of added security, making them easily accessible to malicious groups or apps. Pedro José Pereira Vieito demonstrated the security issue on Threads by creating an app that could easily access your conversations with ChatGPT without any kind of special privileges.

 

Post by @pvieito
View on Threads

 

Later the issue was solved when The Verge reported this to OpenAI. The company acknowledged the matter and announced that they have released a new version of the app that encrypts users’ conversations. In a statement to The Verge, an OpenAI spokesperson  said “We are aware of this issue and have shipped a new version of the application that encrypts these conversations.” She confirmed the fix, emphasizing their commitment to security. After this update, Vieira’s app could no longer access the conversations or record them.

A balanced perspective

The release of the ChatGPT app on MacOS seemed somewhat unwanted given that Mac users could already access ChatGPT via Safari. Also, the initial lack of encryption in the macOS app highlighted a serious lapse in security protocol, especially for an app that handles user’s sensitive data. But comparatively, the application is a lot easier and more reliable to use than the website’s ChatGPT.

However, the quick response by OpenAI to this security flaw showed their commitment to user privacy and data protection. OpenAI has taken a crucial step in solving the issue and preventing future vulnerabilities by quickly releasing an update that encrypts conversations.