Discord Quietly Removed Privacy Policies – Then Added Bad Ones

Last week, Discord announced new AI features powered by Midjourney’s image generator and chatbot technology powered by OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT. The company’s existing chatbot, named Clyde, is now super-charged with artificially intelligent language parsing capabilities and there are other fun features.

Those features appeared to come at a cost: in the fine print of the company’s privacy policy, Discord made subtle changes that disturbed users. It revoked promises not to collect data about screen recording and voice and video chats. One day after getting called out, though, Discord undid those changes, Gizmodo reported.

TechRadar reported that a Discord spokesperson contacted TechRadar to provide the following statement: “Discord is committed to protecting the privacy and data of our users. There has not been a change in Discord’s position on how we store or record the contents of video or voice channels. We recognize that when we recently adjusted language in our Privacy Policy, we inadvertently caused confusion among our users. To be clear, nothing has changed and we have reinserted the language back into our Privacy Policy, along with some additional clarifying information.”

Discord continued: “The recently-announced AI features use OpenAI technology. That said, OpenAI may not use Discord user data to train its general models. Like other Discord products, these features can only store and use information as described in our Privacy Policy, and they do not record, store, or use any voice or video content from users.”

According to TechRadar, the biggest issue with this AI integration is the fact that it comes bundled with very deliberate changes to Discord’s privacy policy. The previous privacy policy, which is still in effect until March 26, 2023, had two important statements under the “The information we collect” section.

The first states that “We generally do not store the contents of video or voice calls or channels” and the second is “We also don’t store streaming content when you share your screen”

But, TechRadar reported, when you check the new privacy policy, which is set to take effect on March 27, 2023, both those statements as well as the one claiming that “if we were to change that in the future (for example, to facilitate content moderation), we would disclose that to you in advance,” are now completely wiped.

Discord appears to have changed it to the following: “Content you create: This includes any content you upload to the service. For example, maybe you write messages or posts (including drafts), send voice messages, create custom emojis, create short recordings of GoLive activity, or upload and share files through the services. This also includes your profile information and the information you provide when you create servers.”

In addition, TechRadar reported that it could be possible for Discord to let its AI bots engage in rampant art theft by stealing the art creators have already posted on Discord. This, alone, makes me want to remove all the art I’ve posted there.