Italy’s data protection authority has temporarily banned OpenAI’s ChatGPT over alleged privacy violations. The ban will remain in effect until OpenAI complies with the European Union’s privacy laws.
In a statement, the Italian National Authority for Personal Data Protection said ChatGPT violated the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in multiple ways, including unlawfully processing people’s data and failing to prevent minors from accessing the AI chatbot.
The Italian privacy regulator warned OpenAI it has 20 days to respond to the order or face fines:
OpenAI, which does not have an office in the Union but has designated a representative in the European Economic Area, must communicate within 20 days the measures undertaken in implementation of what is requested by the Guarantor, under penalty of a fine of up to 20 million euros or up to 4% of the annual global turnover.
Calls to suspend new ChatGPT-4 have been increasing by the day. On Thursday, the tech ethics organization Center for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, asserting the new chatbot violates federal consumer protection law and asked for future chatbot releases to the public to be halted.
As of writing this, we were still able to access ChatGPT by using a VPN to route traffic through Milan, Italy.
The announcement from Italy comes days after European police agency Europol warned: “criminals can abuse large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT.”
It seems that a worldwide crackdown on AI chatbots is in progress.
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