Leaked Walmart memo warns employees not to share 'any information about Walmart's business' with ChatGPT or other AI bots

Leaked Walmart memo warns employees not to share 'any information about Walmart's business' with ChatGPT or other AI bots
Walmart has set ChatGPT guidelines for its employees.AP
  • Walmart Global Tech warned employees in a memo not to enter confidential information into ChatGPT.
  • Walmart said it previously blocked ChatGPT due to "activity that presented risk to our company."

Walmart had a clear directive for its employees Tuesday regarding generative artificial intelligence, like ChatGPT: Do not share any information about Walmart with the rising technology.

In an internal memo to employees, Walmart Global Tech, the retailer's technology and software engineering arm, said it had previously blocked ChatGPT "after we noticed activity that presented risk to our company." The memo, which Insider has viewed, added: "We've since taken the time to evaluate and develop a set of usage guidelines around generative AI tools and are now opening ChatGPT for usage within the Walmart network."

Walmart spokeswoman Erin Hulliberger did not address inquiries about when the company blocked the generative AI and what was the nature of the activity, telling Insider in a statement: "Most new technologies present new benefits as well as new risks. It's not uncommon for us to assess these new technologies and provide our associates with usage guidelines."

The new guidelines include telling Walmart employees they should "avoid inputting any sensitive, confidential, or proprietary information," such as financial or strategic information or personal information about shoppers and employees, into Chat GPT.

Employees "should not input any information about Walmart's business — including business process, policy, or strategy — into these tools," the memo said.


Walmart employees must also review outputs of these tools before relying on the information they provide, according to the memo. And employees should not cut and paste existing code into these tools or use these tools to create new code.

"Putting Walmart information into these tools risks exposure of the company's information, may breach confidentiality, and may significantly impact our rights in any code, product, information, or content," per the memo. "Every associate is responsible for the appropriate use and protection of Walmart data."

At the end of the memo, Walmart Global Tech touted that ChatGPT "can enhance efficiency and innovation," but it and other generative AI tools must be used "appropriately."

This memo comes one month after companies like Amazon and Microsoft issued similar warnings to their employees about entering confidential information into ChatGPT.

Have you used ChatGPT or generative AI tools while working for Walmart? Contact the reporter Ben Tobin at btobin@insider.com or on encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 703-498-9171 to share your experience.