House Bans Use of Microsoft AI Copilot Due to Security Concerns

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

The U.S. House of Representatives has implemented a strict ban on the use of Microsoft’s AI-based chatbot, Copilot, by congressional staff members, citing potential security risks.

Axios reports that the U.S. House has taken a strong stance against the use of Microsoft’s AI-powered chatbot, Copilot, by congressional staff. The decision comes amid growing concerns over data security and the potential leakage of sensitive House information to unauthorized cloud services.

According to guidance obtained by Axios from the House’s Chief Administrative Officer, Catherine Szpindor, Microsoft Copilot has been deemed “unauthorized for House use” by the Office of Cybersecurity. The guidance further states that the application “will be removed from and blocked on all House Windows devices.”

This move follows a previous restriction imposed by the House in June 2024 on the use of ChatGPT, allowing limited access to the paid subscription version while banning the free version altogether. The decision to ban Copilot highlights the federal government’s ongoing struggle to navigate the internal use of AI technologies while simultaneously working on regulations for the rapidly evolving industry.

In response to the House’s decision, a Microsoft spokesperson told Axios, “We recognize that government users have higher security requirements for data. That’s why we announced a roadmap of Microsoft AI tools, like Copilot, that meet federal government security and compliance requirements that we intend to deliver later this year.”

The Chief Administrative Officer’s office clarified that the current guidance applies to the commercial version of Copilot and that they will evaluate the government version once it becomes available, making a determination at that time.

Copilot, built on technology from ChatGPT creator OpenAI, is available as a standalone chatbot for web and mobile devices, as well as integrated into Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint for paid users. The House’s concerns mirror those faced by many companies, with some opting to block access to consumer chatbots due to fears of data leakage. Businesses are increasingly looking towards enterprise versions that offer guarantees against data being used to train future models, which could potentially lead to data leakage.

Just like the government’s TikTok ban on federal devices, the latest move against Microsoft’s AI bot demonstrates that different standards are being applied to consumer protection than protecting government assets.

Read more at Axios here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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