AI Acceptable Use Policy: Employee Handbook for Responsible AI Use

Enrico Schaefer - May 11, 2023 - Artificial Intelligence


Because of the rapid adoption of AI and especially OpenAI‘s chatGPT tools, companies are finding themselves on the wrong end of inadvertently disclosing proprietary information. ChatGPT so enamors employees that they engage with the free version or even chatGPT Plus without enabling data privacy options. You can watch this video about ensuring data privacy for AI usage on a corporate level. AI tools will find their way onto your employees’ computers and devices. Developing an artificial intelligence use policy and training on AI best practices will be critical for your company’s long-term success. An AI usage policy is step one for every organization whose employees use AI or want to develop AI solutions. Every company needs an AI use policy for its corporate governance and fiduciary obligations.

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BONUS- We are Providing an AI AUP Example Template / Generative Artificial Intelligence Policy at the end of this article! [ai use policy, ai acceptable use policy, ai usage policy, artificial intelligence policy]

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Data Privacy & Protection Of Corporate IP Is A Challenge

In utilizing GPT models in the workplace, employees must understand the significance of the data they input into these systems. It’s important to avoid entering personal details, such as social security or credit card numbers, of themselves or clients. The same caution applies to proprietary information to maintain confidentiality. It’s also crucial to remember that data entered into GPT models might be stored and processed in ways that are beyond the company’s immediate oversight and could potentially be accessed by external entities. Therefore, it’s necessary to have training programs on data privacy, as well as systems for monitoring and auditing the use of GPT models. Employees are required to report any suspicions of data privacy violations. Non-compliance with these guidelines can lead to severe repercussions, including disciplinary measures and potential legal proceedings. By being aware of and prioritizing data privacy issues, employees can use GPT models responsibly, protecting sensitive data and the company’s reputation.

Third-party applications are being built on the OpenAI API, which may or may not have data privacy rules that are the same as OpenAI. All of this leads to one conclusion. Every company needs to have an AI usage policy for employees. This AI Usage policy can go into your employee handbook or be developed as a separate employee policy.

Drafting an AI Use and Ethics Policy (AI Governance Policy) Is Mission Critical For Every Company.

When drafting an AI-acceptable use policy or manual, you must ensure that no AI tools are used without the company’s knowledge and permission. The company must ensure that all employees use paid versions of chat GPT and select the correct data privacy options OpenAI offers. Companies can also use the OpenAI API secret key to enhance data privacy, control employee data usage, and monitor the usage of their employees. Employees need to be trained on chat GPT data security and privacy issues so they know how to navigate various tools out there. AI governance is a mandatory part of the overall governance policies, which must be implemented by company executives, founders, managers, and directors.

What Are The Essential Items for Your Company’s AI Acceptable Use Policy?

If your company’s employees are using AI tools but not developing them, the AI use policy can be streamlined to focus more on usage, ethical considerations, data handling, and security. As innovative lawyers with expertise in technology company representation and IP law, Traverse Legal understands the importance of incorporating a well-defined Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for employee AI usage within an organization. We can help your company develop and implement AUP for AI use. Every company needs an AI use policy which a lawyer with expertise in artificial intelligence systems and machine learning reviews.

Reach out to our AI legal experts today. Get tailored advice on formulating AI policies that secure your company’s private data and prevent its incorporation into AI training models’ LLM.

What is an AUP for AI?

An AUP is a set of guidelines and rules agreed upon between an employer and their employees that outlines how an organization’s technology resources can be used. Regarding AI usage, several critical areas need to be addressed in any AUP. Each company is different, and each AUP needs to address the company’s specific risk tolerance, implementation resources, and proprietary information.

Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for Employee AI Usage.

Boilerplate AI policies are an excellent start to start discussions. However, customization and attorney review are critical. As AI usage evolves, the policy must also be updated. AI use policies are working documents that should grow with your company. Here are some essential items that every AUP for AI should address:

  1. Preamble
    • The objective of the policy for AI tool application
    • Policy’s jurisdiction (applicable parties and relevant technologies)
  2. Terminology
    • Explanation of significant terms related to AI and proprietary data
  3. Principles of AI Application
    • Impartiality: AI tools should not introduce or amplify unjust bias
    • Clarity: AI applications should be clear and understandable
    • Confidentiality and safety: AI must uphold privacy and safeguard data
    • Responsibility: AI tool users should be answerable for their use of AI
  4. Confidential Data
    • Interpretation of confidential data in the company’s context
    • Interaction between AI tools and confidential data
    • Strategies to safeguard confidential data during AI tool application
  5. Data Governance
    • Data acquisition:  Guidelines on data that AI tools can gather, the method of collection, and the authorized collectors
    • Data preservation:  Guidelines on data storage locations and methods
    • Data application:  Guidelines on data utilization by AI tools, including usage restrictions
    • Data dissemination: Guidelines on data sharing, both within and outside the organization
    • Data removal: Guidelines on data deletion timings and methods
  6. AI Tool Application and Data Confidentiality
    • Authorized AI Tools: AI tools sanctioned by the company’s IT division can be used.  The IT division will keep an updated list of sanctioned AI tools. Employees are prohibited from using AI tools not on this list for company-related activities.
    • Tool Approval Process: Employees must submit a request to the IT division if they believe a new AI tool could be advantageous.  The IT division will assess the tool for safety, privacy, and compliance before approving or rejecting the request.
    • Data Accessibility: AI tools should only have access to the data required to perform their tasks.  Employees must not grant AI tools access to excess data.
    • Data Confidentiality: AI tools must adhere to the company’s privacy policy. This includes respecting personal data privacy, confidential data, and proprietary information.  Employees must ensure that any AI tool they use manages data in a manner consistent with this policy.
    • Data Safety:  AI tools must implement sufficient security measures to protect data from unauthorized access, modification, or deletion.  This includes data encryption, access control, and regular security updates.
    • Education:  Employees must be trained on how to use AI tools in a way that respects data privacy and security.  This includes understanding the data that AI tools can access, how to restrict this access, and how to identify and respond to potential data breaches.
    • Supervision and Auditing:  The company will regularly supervise and audit the use of AI tools to ensure policy compliance.  This includes verifying that only approved tools are being used, that they are being used correctly, and that they are not accessing or storing data inappropriately.
    • Incident Reporting: Employees must immediately report any suspected policy violations or issues related to AI tool usage and data privacy to the IT department.
    • Non-Compliance Penalties:  Non-compliance with this policy may lead to disciplinary action, including termination. In some cases, legal action may also be pursued.
  7. Education and Consciousness
  8. Incident Management
    • Procedure to report policy violations or other AI-related issues
    • Company’s response to incidents, including potential disciplinary actions
  9. Policy Revision and Updates
    • Frequency of policy review and updates
    • Party responsible for policy upkeep.
  1. Compliance and Consequences
    • Repercussions for policy non-compliance
    • Compliance monitoring methods

This employee AI policy emphasizes the user side of AI more, highlighting ethical application, data governance, and security. It’s still crucial to consult with various stakeholders and potential legal counsel to ensure the policy is comprehensive and compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.

See below for Sample AUP.

We Have AI AUP Solutions For Every Size of Company

Your workforce may already be harnessing the power of AI. However, are they in alignment with your business policies and safeguarding the privacy of your company and clients? It is imperative for every organization to have an attorney-approved Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for AI utilization. But beyond policy, regular AI training, ChatGPT classes and certificaiton of AI-proficiency is vital to ensure safe and effective use of AI tools. Traverse Legal offers a premier, industry-leading solution tailored to your company’s unique needs. Our commitment is to bolster your AI usage while minimizing risk, thereby helping you navigate the complexities of modern technology safely and proficiently.

AI Attorney Enrico Schaefer

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Interactive Template: Employee Acceptable Use Policy for AI

We have developed an interactive template for an Employee Acceptable Use Policy for AI usage. With your ChatGPT account, you can conveniently interact with and modify this template to suit your organization’s needs.

Access the template using the following link: [Link to the Interactive Template]

Important Note: While the template provides a helpful starting point, we strongly recommend having your AI attorney review any policy before implementation. Every organization has unique requirements, and legal expertise ensures compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Feel free to explore and customize the template according to your organization’s AI usage policies. It provides a solid foundation for addressing acceptable AI usage by employees.

Remember, a thorough review by your AI attorney will ensure that the policy aligns with your specific legal obligations. By working together, we can develop a robust Employee Acceptable Use Policy that promotes responsible and ethical AI utilization within your organization.”

Enrico Schaefer

Founding attorney Enrico is a seasoned consultant who guides companies, including law firms, in effectively integrating artificial intelligence (AI). With a wide range of consulting services, Enrico assists clients in harnessing the power of AI while ensuring ethical and responsible implementation.

Years of experience: 35+ years


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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Enrico Schaefer, who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a practicing Business, IP, and Technology Law litigation attorney.