Computing

Here’s why ChatGPT requires a phone number to use

ChatGPT makes it easy to get started, and signing up is free. You can use your own email address or log in with your Google or Microsoft account. However, you might have noticed that ChatGPT also asks for your phone number.

Why ChatGPT requires a phone number

Just like many online services, ChatGPT requires proper identification. It starts with your email, where you need to click a verification link. Then, it asks for your name, birth date, and finally, your phone number.

This process, known as two-factor authentication, is common these days to enhance security. It ensures that you’re a real person and reduces the risk of your account being easily hacked. It’s worth mentioning that ChatGPT doesn’t require two-factor authentication every time you log in.

A MacBook Pro on a desk with ChatGPT's website showing on its display.
Image: Hatice Baran / Unsplash

Is it safe to give ChatGPT your phone number?

You might be concerned about giving ChatGPT your phone number or other personal information, especially considering that it has been banned in Italy due to privacy concerns under the GDPR. However, these concerns do not directly relate to giving OpenAI your phone number or personal details. The ban in Italy is primarily focused on data collection practices during the training of the large language model and the lack of age verification during ChatGPT sign-up.

When it comes to sign-up, phone numbers are only required for “security reasons.” OpenAI assures users that personal information will not be used for any other purpose, as specified in its privacy agreements.

However, it’s important to note that you should never share personal information with ChatGPT during your chats. All messages sent to ChatGPT are saved, even if you delete them from your chat history. OpenAI explicitly discourages sharing personal information with the chatbot.

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Can I use ChatGPT without a phone number?

Unfortunately, no. ChatGPT does not accept VoIP numbers, so you’ll need an active mobile number to verify your account. The only exception to this rule is by using an app like Dingtone, which can generate a virtual phone number suitable for accounts like ChatGPT.

Some users have reported that if you try to access ChatGPT in a country where it’s not available, the phone number verification will block you from continuing with your account. However, using a VPN can help bypass location restrictions, although you still need an active phone number for it to work.

If you encounter any issues with phone number verification, we recommend contacting OpenAI’s support team for assistance.

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For more information about ChatGPT, visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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