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Re: ATTN: Third-Party AI is toggled to ON automatically

ATTN: Third-Party AI is toggled to ON automatically

Explorer | Level 4

Fellow DropBox Community Members,

If you don't already know this, Third-Party AI is automatically set to "ON" without our permission.
To FIX THIS: Go to your Account Icon > Settings > Third-Party AI and toggle OFF.


Why DropBox thought it was a good idea not to be up front about this change is beyond me. But it's *very shady* and I'm not happy about it! I'm a longtime customer but I know I have other options and will leave if DropBox gets way too cozy with Third-Party AI folks.




19 Replies 19

Helpful | Level 5

Oh perfect, I love having private business documents fed into openAI! That's so cool and definitely not a violation of privacy and a massive potential file security issue.

Yeah, this sucks actually.

New member | Level 2

Yep, this is a deal-breaker for me. Brb, nuking my account to go look for a provider that's trustworthy enough not to do this. The AI gold rush has really left some folks more ethically-challenged than usual.

Cameron P.
Helpful | Level 5

I'm absolutely furious. There is NO way we would have enabled this by default. We have relied on Dropbox for personal and professional lives for over a decade, and feely deeply betrayed. What information was shared and when? Was our info used to train any models? How was this done without our permission? Were Vault items shared? We didn't opt in! 

Explorer | Level 4

You opted me in to a feature that shares my data with a third-party? Without any sort of e-mail notification or advance warning? I had to find out about this via a tech-oriented news site!


I'm stunned. You know perfectly well I would never agree to allow OpenAI access to my data which is why you went behind my back to opt me into this feature without warning.


And, yes, I'm investigating alternatives. 

Christos V.
New member | Level 2

I just realized that Third-party AI was turned on without my consent! That means that my private files can be sent to a Third-party AI engine, without my explicit consent and without me knowing anything about it! This is unacceptable!


Dropbox incorrectly claims that this is only turned On by default for those participating in the Dropbox AI alpha - not sure what this is, but I never agreed to participate in any Dropbox AI "alpha".

  • "If you or your team is participating in the Dropbox AI alpha, the Third-party AI toggle in your account settings is turned On by default"

They also say that

  • "Note: If you’re outside the EEA or the UK, third-party AI is turned on by default."

However I am in an EU country, so this should not have been turned on by default, per EU privacy regulations.

This is a very surprising development, from a company which supposed to safeguard user data.

A very disappointed user (Dropbox Plus)


Christos V.
New member | Level 2

Ju Shin,

You say that:

  • "this feature is powered by OpenAI. Dropbox only sends OpenAI the file you’re currently viewing and asking it summarize or answer a question about."

However, the FAQs about privacy using AI on Dropbox say that:

  • "Only the content relevant to an explicit request or command is sent to our third-party AI partners to generate an answer, summary, or transcript."

This is not clear at all, what does it mean  by "content relevant"? Will it also look for other files that might be relevant? How many files? Dropbox needs to clarify exactly which file/files will be sent and notify the user that these files are being sent. How else can we be sure about the privacy of our data? This is very serious!

Helpful | Level 6

What the ever-loving hell, Dropbox? I don't want AI, I didn't ask for AI, I'm not paying for AI, and I want nothing to do with AI. To go into this partnership with as shady a company as Open AI without letting us know in advance, and THEN make us opt OUT of it, rather than into it, is suspect as helllllllll. Stop it, folks. I don't want move all my **bleep** somewhere else. **bleep**. 

Helpful | Level 6

I've used Dropbox for probably over 10 years, and was beyond furious today to see that you've decided to "partner up" with Open AI to let them into our files. Open AI has built their entire business on theft, and you tell us that it's fine because you vetted them. Vetted them? How exactly? What possible assurance could you give to justify teaming up with a company like this? You now offer GENERATIVE AI which means that you're willingly using stolen data from elsewhere to make more here. And to top it all off, you made everyone on the entire platform OPT IN by default which was not mentioned anywhere and had to be learned from news sites or word of mouth. 

An extra bonus? that "Even if you’ve opted out, any files shared with another person who is using Dropbox AI could still be sent to OpenAI servers." Thats insane. 

If you were serious about data privacy you would never have set the ticker to opt out only. It would have been an opt in option for those interested.
You would also not partner with Open AI - the most notorious company on the planet for data theft. But that would never benefit the AI machine so you and no one else, will ever do this. 

I in no way believe the "promises" by dropbox that it won't share data unless we decide to play with it's cute little AI tools.  I don't believe it will be deleted in 30 days either. All those are fancy lawyer speak to get around the fact that if you train on something, it doesn't *technically* store it, so it could be trained but then "deleted" and still keep the training data. Open AI didn't team up for fun, they want something, and that something is our private data. They need it because they already stole all the public data.

I do not trust a company that did Sh*t like this months ago:

Our private files are not your personal f*cking data to sell- especially when we ALREADY pay you. I work professionally with a number of clients who use dropbox for SENSATIVE NDA files on a regular basis. Game studios use it for file sharing, and on it goes. I had to tell a client today that his whole game assets are at risk because of this move. I had to tell musicians that all their project files and stems are in danger. That is not your "data" to sell to Open AI.

As soon as I find a proper alternative, I'm nuking my account and never looking back. I encourage everyone to do the same because this is a warning shot. This is a total trust violation they have shown you cannot trust them with anything.

Absolute scumbags.

Helpful | Level 7

This is absolutely despicable, and crosses a line.  Whoever is responsible for defaulting this setting to ON should be fired.  If they are sending files to third parties without our consent, that's a major privacy breach worthy of litigation.  And if they haven't, it's still a major PR fumble that's squandering whatever morsel of goodwill this company still retains, so still deserves firing.

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