Italy Bans ChatGPT Over Privacy Breach Concerns

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: The Economic Times

Italy has currently banned the use of ChatGPT, the popular AI (artificial intelligence) chatbot. The country’s national privacy regulator has accused OpenAI, the creator of the chatbot, of “unlawful collection of personal data.” The agency has directed OpenAI to immediately cease collecting data from Italian customers.

Italy’s data protection authority, the GPDP, issued a press release this morning against the OpenAI chatbot. According to the release, the body has accused OpenAI of lacking lawful justification for the collection of users’ data. Moreover, according to the GPDP, OpenAI also lacked a way to prevent minors from using the service. The release stated (translated),

“exposes minors to absolutely unsuitable answers compared to their degree of development and self-awareness.”

OpenAI’s compliance with the directive to cease processing the data of Italian users is probably going to take some time. According to the GPDP, the corporation has 20 days to disclose the steps it has done to satisfy the authorities’ criteria. However, if it fails, the corporation might be penalized up to €20 million (or 4% of its annual global turnover).

Many have reported that the chatbot is still active. Popular cryptocurrency proponent, Anthony Pompliano, took to Twitter and shared that many people are still able to access ChatGPT.

Will Italy un-ban ChatGPT?

The Italian data watchdog has already taken similar actions against another AI chatbot. In February, the regulator outlawed the chatbot application Replika gained notoriety for users developing close relationships with it. However, in the case of ChatGPT, Italy might revoke the ban, if the firm takes the necessary steps to prevent the unlawful collection of data.

Nonetheless, there are several countries that do not have access to the AI-powered chatbot. Russia, China, Afghanistan, Cuba, Nepal, Venezuela, and Syria are some of the countries where people cannot access OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Moreover, many schools and universities around the world have banned the use of the chatbot for their students.