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ChatGPT banned in Italy for privacy concerns ft

  • By Shiona McCallum
  • technology reporter
March 31, 2023

Updated 33 minutes ago

image source, fake images


OpenAI released ChatGPT last November

Italy has become the first western country to block the advanced chatbot ChatGPT.

Italy’s data protection authority said there were privacy concerns related to the model, which was created by US start-up OpenAI and is backed by Microsoft.

The regulator said it would ban and investigate OpenAI “with immediate effect.”

OpenAI told the BBC that it complied with privacy laws.

Millions of people have used ChatGPT since its launch in November 2022.

You can answer questions using natural, human-like language, and you can also mimic other writing styles, using the internet as it was in 2021 as your database.

Microsoft has spent billions of dollars on it, and it was added to Bing last month.

It has also said it will embed a version of the technology into its Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

There have been concerns about the potential risks of artificial intelligence (AI), including its threat to jobs and the spread of misinformation and bias.

Earlier this week, key tech figures including Elon Musk called for these kinds of AI systems to be discontinued amid fears the race to develop them was out of control.

The Italian watchdog said it would not only block the OpenAI chatbot, but also investigate whether it complied with the General Data Protection Regulation.

GDPR governs the way we can use, process and store personal data.

The watchdog said on March 20 that the app had experienced a data breach related to user conversations and payment information.

It said there was no legal basis to justify “the massive collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of ‘training’ the algorithms that underlie the operation of the platform.”

It also said that since there was no way to verify the age of users, the app “exposes minors to responses that are totally inappropriate compared to their level of development and awareness.”

Bard, Google’s rival AI chatbot, is now available, but only to specific users over the age of 18, due to those same concerns.

Italy’s data protection authority said OpenAI had 20 days to say how it would address the watchdog’s concerns, under penalty of a 20 million euro ($21.7 million) fine or up to 4% of revenue. annual.

Separately, the Irish data protection commission told the BBC that it is following up with the Italian regulator to understand the basis for its action and will “coordinate with all EU data protection authorities” regarding with the ban.

The Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s independent data regulator, told the BBC it would “support” developments in AI, but was also ready to “challenge breaches” of data protection laws.

Dan Morgan of cybersecurity ratings provider SecurityScorecard said the ban shows the importance of regulatory compliance for companies operating in Europe.

“Businesses must prioritize the protection of personal data and comply with the strict data protection rules set by the EU; compliance with the rules is not an optional extra.”

‘Not regulated enough’

Consumer advocacy group BEUC has also called on EU and national authorities, including data protection watchdogs, to investigate ChatGPT and similar chatbots, following a complaint being filed in the US.

Although the EU is currently working on the world’s first AI legislation, BEUC’s concern is that it would be years before the AI ​​Act could come into force, leaving consumers at risk of harm from technology that is not regulated enough.

Ursula Pachl, BEUC deputy director general, warned that society is “currently not sufficiently protected from the harm” that AI can cause.

“There are serious concerns about how ChatGPT and similar chatbots can deceive and manipulate people. These artificial intelligence systems need greater public scrutiny, and public authorities must reassert control over them,” he said.

ChatGPT is already blocked in several countries, including China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

OpenAI told the BBC that it had disabled ChatGPT for users in Italy at the request of the Italian data protection regulator, called Guarantor:

“We are committed to protecting people’s privacy and believe we are compliant with GDPR and other privacy laws,” he wrote.

The organization said it worked to reduce personal data in training AI systems like ChatGPT because it wanted its AI systems to “learn about the world, not about private individuals.”

“We also believe that AI regulation is necessary, so we look forward to working closely with Garante and educating them on how our systems are built and used,” he added.

OpenAI said it expected ChatGPT to be available again in Italy “soon”.



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