WPS Office Faces Backlash Over AI Training Privacy Concerns

By Billy Jiang, November 20, 2023

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WPS Office, a popular office software developed by Kingsoft, has recently come under fire for potential privacy violations related to its artificial intelligence (AI) training practices. 

The software, known for its ease of installation and free usage, has a significant user base in China, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises.

Recent media reports highlighted a clause in the WPS Privacy Policy that stated:

"We will use the documents you upload to the server as the basis for AI training." 

This latest policy update has raised concerns about the potential misuse of user data.

In response to the public outcry, WPS Office issued an apology on its official Sina Weibo account on November 18. 


WPS Office issued an apology for the issue. Screenshot by That's

The statement acknowledged that the previous wording in the policy had caused confusion and assured users that their documents would not be used for any AI training purposes without their consent.

Subsequently, the company updated its policy terms and removed the controversial lines.

The incident coincided with WPS Office's announcement on November 16 regarding the commencement of the public beta testing for WPS AI

The new AI features, including AIGC (Content Creation), Copilot (Intelligent Assistant), and Insight (Knowledge Insight), are aimed at providing users with a more advanced and efficient product experience.

As AI continues to integrate into various products, companies face challenges in balancing the benefits of improved functionalities with the responsible use of user data. 

Many applications leverage user-generated content for AI training without explicit disclosure, raising concerns about privacy and consent.

The incident prompts reflection on the broader issue of how much user data is utilized for AI training purposes without users' awareness or explicit consent.

How do you feel about the potential use of your cloud-stored files for AI training? Feel free to share your thoughts. For more updates on the latest news in China, follow our WeChat official account, ThatsGBA.

[Cover image via That's]

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