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Survey: AI Adoption Faces Data Privacy, IP, Security Concerns

GitLab survey found that 95% of respondents prioritize privacy and IP protection when selecting an AI tool.

Ben Wodecki

September 11, 2023

2 Min Read
Developer looking at a computer screen
Getty Images

At a Glance

  • GitLab's survey revealed that data privacy, IP protection and security are the top concerns of companies adopting AI.
  • Privacy and IP protection are prioritized by 95% of respondents when choosing an AI tool.
  • But 75% of respondents see AI training as insufficient at their companies.

Data privacy, intellectual property protection and security are top concerns for senior technology executives when adopting AI tools in software development, according to a new report from GitLab.

GitLab’s 2023 Global DevSecOps Report surveyed some 1,000 tech executives and found that 95% said they prioritize privacy and protection of IP when selecting an AI tool.

Some 32% of respondents said they were "very" or "extremely" concerned about introducing AI into the software development lifecycle.

Two-fifths of respondents (40%) admitted worries that AI-generated code may introduce security vulnerabilities, while 48% said they were concerned this code may not be subject to the same copyright protection as human-generated code.

The report highlights enterprise demand for privacy-first AI that allows users to get productivity boosts while also mitigating risks.

AI vendors have made moves to try and meet that demand. In the past month alone, OpenAI launched ChatGPT for Enterprise, Microsoft launched an open source version of ChatGPT on Azure and IBM expanded WatsonX – all of which promised privacy over data usage.

Trouble with AI training, translations

Over half of respondents (51%) said improvements to productivity were a key benefit of AI implementation. However, GitLab's report contends that increased developer productivity may widen the existing divide between developers and security professionals.

Related:Python: Key Differentiator for Advanced Data Analytics

Just 7% of respondents said that their developer time was spent managing security vulnerabilities and 11% was spent on testing code.

GitLab did, however, find that respondents see AI training as lacking – a major concern for businesses considering the widening AI skills gap.

Three-quarters (75%) of respondents said their organization provides training and resources for using AI – but the same number said the available resources and training "may be insufficient."

When asked what types of resources are being used to build AI skills, the top responses were the following:

  • 49% utilize books, articles, and online videos

  • 49% watch educational courses

  • 47% practice with open source projects

  • 47% learn from peers and mentors

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About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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