June 5, 2023

Italy blocks GPT chat after suspected breach of data collection rules | technology

ChatGPT chatbot – Image: Florence Lu/Reuters

The Italian Data Protection Agency reported on Friday (31) that it had decided to temporarily block the use of ChatGPT, on suspicion of non-respect of legislation involving the privacy of personal data and failure to verify the age of users.

Italian authorities have also opened an investigation into a chatbot developed by OpenAI to investigate whether the application’s artificial intelligence (AI) data collection rules could be breached.

The Italian agency claimed “there is no legal basis to justify the large-scale collection and storage of personal data in order to ‘train’ the algorithms that underpin the platform’s operation,” Reuters reported.

Also according to the authorities, ChatGPT does not provide any age verification filter for users. The application must be reserved for users of 13 years of age or older.

It said in a statement from the Data Protection Agency that the decision, which has “immediate effect”, would result in “a temporary restriction of the processing of Italian users’ data in relation to OpenAI”.

OpenAI declined to comment on the decision. The company is not headquartered in the European Union, but it has appointed a representative for the region and must report within 20 days of action taken in connection with the case, according to the ANSA news agency.

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Since its launch last year, ChatGPT has pushed competitors to launch similar products or move to integrating similar technologies into their apps and products.

ChatGPT is estimated to have reached 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after its launch, and is considered the fastest-growing consumer app in history, according to a UBS study published last month.

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, warned this week that the chatbot could be misused in its attempts phishingdisinformation and cybercrime, in addition to a host of concerns ranging from legal issues to ethical issues.

They pointed to the risks and dangers to which humanity is exposed and say that the race to develop these programs is out of control.

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