Italy Data Regulator Imposes Ban on ChatGPT for Allegedly Breaching Data Privacy

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Italy Data Regulator Imposes Ban on ChatGPT for Allegedly Breaching Data Privacy
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In a press release, the GDDP said it is investigating ChatGPT following a ban on the wildly popular OpenAI chatbot.

Italy has become the first Western nation to officially ban the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT over privacy concerns. The European country seeks to launch an investigation regarding suspected breaches of its data privacy rules. This investigation would also ascertain whether the OpenAI chatbot complied with General Data Protection Regulation.

On Friday, the Italian data-protection authority called for the suspension of ChatGPT following a March 20th platform breach. According to the Data Protection Authority (GDDP), a user’s data was exposed to another user via the AI chatbot.

Amid allegations that ChatGPT breached at least one user’s conversations and payment information, the GDDP also raised another pressing issue. The Italian data watchdog pointed out that information regarding the data compiled by OpenAI is inadequate. In a press release, the security watchdog said:

“The Privacy Guarantor observes the lack of information to users and all interested parties whose data are collected by OpenAI, but above all, the absence of a legal basis that justifies the collection and massive storage of personal data, to “train” the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform.”

Furthermore, the GDDP pointed out that ChatGPT-rendered information does not always reflect real data. The agency concluded that the chatbot could be inaccurate in processing personal data.

Italy ChatGPT Ban Comes as Data Watchdog Alleges Chatbot Lacks Filter for Verifying User Age

The GDDP also alluded to how ChatGPT may have breached its own data protection rules. The Italian data watchdog explained that although the chatbot has age limitations, it lacks a filter for verifying user age. This operational deficiency implies that those below the age-13 limit could be exposed to age-inappropriate answers.

Following the ChatGPT ban in Italy, the GDDP said OpenAI had 20 days to address raised concerns. According to the watchdog:

“OpenAI has appointed a representative in the European Economic Area, and must communicate within 20 days the measures taken in implementation of what is requested by the Guarantor, under penalty of up to 20 million euros or up to 4% of annual global turnover.”

The ban is not the first time Italy’s data watchdog has moved against an AI chatbot. In February, the GDDP banned chatbot app Replika from accessing personal data, citing risks to emotionally fragile people and minors.

Although ChatGPT boasted around 100 million users globally in its first two months, it is unclear how many users are in Italy. An hour after the ban announcement in Italy, some publications still claimed to be able to access the AI service from the country.

Despite its early success and explosive popularity, ChatGPT has also come under fire from other parts of the world. For instance, the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy (CAIDP) filed a complaint today against the chatbot. The CAIDP described ChatGPT as a “biased” and “deceptive” platform that could compromise public privacy.

Artificial Intelligence, News, Technology News
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