Google Has Blocked Private Bard Chat Transcripts from Public Search Results


Google has removed Bard chat transcripts from its search results after it was discovered that the AI chatbot was inadvertently indexing transcripts of private conversations.


Highlights

  • Private Bard Chat transcripts were inadvertently indexed in Google Search.
  • Google has removed the Bard transcripts from its search results.
  • Users should be cautious about sharing sensitive info with AI chatbots.

It was discovered that Google’s AI chatbot, Bard, was inadvertently indexing transcripts of private conversations in its search results. The incident came to light after a search engine optimization (SEO) consultant, Gagan Ghotra, observed that Google Search was showing results from private Bard conversations in its search results. Ghotra reported his findings on X, formerly Twitter, on September 26, 2023.

Ghotra posted an image on X of Google’s search results showing Bard’s transcripts via the use of a special Google search operator: site:https://bard.google.com/share/.

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Those results were from users who used Bard’s share chat feature which created an indexable URL that could show up on Google Search. Users’ one-on-one conversations were being surfaced publicly without their knowledge, raising concerns about privacy.

Google Search Liason responded quickly Ghotra’s post on X saying:

“Bard allows people to share chats, if they choose. We also don’t intend for these shared chats to be indexed by Google Search. We’re working on blocking them from being indexed now.”

Google blocked all Bard chat transcripts from its search results within 24 hours after the issue came to light. Using the search operator, site:https://bard.google.com/share/, now shows zero results in Google Search.

This incident serves as a reminder that users should be cautious when sharing personal information with AI chatbots like Bard, as they can be programmed to collect and store personal information such as names, email addresses, and phone numbers, which can raise privacy concerns if the chatbot is not properly secured or if the data is being shared with third-party vendors.

Chatbots are also vulnerable to security breaches just like any other system, and any personal information shared with them could potentially be accessed by hackers, which could result in identity theft, financial fraud, or other serious security issues.

Summary

Google’s AI chatbot, Bard, was inadvertently indexing transcripts of private conversations in its search results, raising concerns about privacy. Google blocked all Bard chat transcripts from its search results within 24 hours after the issue surfaced and users are advised to be cautious when sharing personal information with AI chatbots.



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