Elon Musk may ban Apple devices over ChatGPT integration

Elon Musk on Monday threatened to ban the sale of Apple devices, including the iPhone, to companies he founded over concerns about whether the iPhone maker’s new partnership with OpenAI will protect users’ personal data.

“If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, Apple devices will be banned from my companies.” Musk wrote in a post on X on Monday. “This is an unacceptable security breach.” Companies Musk runs or co-founded include electric car maker Tesla, rocket maker SpaceX, space tunnel startup Boring Company and X, formerly known as Twitter, which he acquired in 2022.

Musk further added that visitors to his company will have to “check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage,” referring to the enclosure that protects anything placed inside it from electromagnetic fields.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Musk’s remarks came on the heels of Apple’s annual developer event, where the iPhone maker showed off a number of new AI-powered features powered by what the company calls Apple Intelligence. These features include the ability to rewrite or summarize notes, as well as Siri’s improved ability to understand the context of conversations. Apple also used the conference to announce a partnership with OpenAI, saying that users will access ChatGPT through Apple’s virtual assistant Siri.

The iPhone maker said it expects to integrate ChatGPT into its iPhone, iPad and Mac operating systems later this year. ChatGPT integration is an optional feature, the company said, showing how users can opt-in to the use of the OpenAI chatbot on their website. Apple says its devices won’t collect personal data, but they will be aware of it.

“Built-in privacy protections for users accessing ChatGPT – their IP addresses are hidden and OpenAI does not store requests.” Apple announced in a press release on Monday.

Grok logo Grok logo

The race to create effective virtual assistants does not end with OpenAI and Google. Public documents from developers show that Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence company, xAI, is making progress in transforming its Grok chatbot into one with multimodal capabilities.

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The iPhone maker has long advocated for privacy as a core value in the design of products and services, and says Apple Intelligence will set a “new standard for privacy in artificial intelligence.” To achieve this, Apple says some requests will be processed on the device without requiring an Internet connection, while more complex requests will be routed to the cloud in data centers running Apple-made chips.

“The data is not stored or shared with Apple and is only used to fulfill your requests, and this privacy can be verified by independent experts.”

Musk’s relationship with OpenAI has been complex. He co-founded the organization in 2015 before stepping down from the board in 2018. Earlier this year, Musk took legal action against ChatGPT’s creators, including CEO Sam Altman, arguing that the company had abandoned its founding mission of developing artificial intelligence , which will benefit humanity for the sake of profits.