ChatGPT violates Data Protection says Italian watchdog

Business News

Italy’s Data Protection Authority (DPA) says ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot, violates data protection regulations. The DPA’s inquiry revealed privacy breaches related to the collection of personal data and age protections.

The DPA’s inquiry into ChatGPT, says the AI powered chatbot breaches data privacy. ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, relies on extensive internet-fed data for its functioning.

OpenAI responded, stating that it believes its practices are in line with privacy laws. The company emphasised its commitment to minimising personal data in training AI systems and avoiding requests for private or sensitive information about individuals.

The DPA has given OpenAI 30 days to present its defence.

Italy has previously taken a stringent stance on data protection concerning ChatGPT, becoming the first Western country to block the product in March 2023 due to privacy concerns. The ban was lifted around four weeks later after OpenAI claimed to have addressed the issues raised by the DPA.

The recent findings by the DPA indicate that privacy violations persist, specifically related to mass data collection used for training the algorithm. Additionally, concerns have been raised about the potential exposure of younger users to inappropriate content generated by the chatbot.

In a statement, the DPA said it, “concluded that the available evidence pointed to the existence of breaches of the provisions contained in the EU GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation]”.

GDPR used to enforce rules

Under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies violating data protection rules can face fines of up to 4% of their global turnover. Italy’s DPA collaborates with the European Data Protection Board, which established a task force to monitor ChatGPT in April 2023.

Upon ChatGPT’s reinstatement, the Italian regulator welcomed OpenAI’s implemented measures but urged further compliance. Specifically, the DPA sought the implementation of an age verification system and an information campaign to inform Italians about the situation and their right to opt-out of personal data processing for training algorithms.

OpenAI, with significant ties to Microsoft, will continue discussions with the regulator. Microsoft has invested billions in OpenAI and integrated AI into its Bing search engine and Office 365 applications, including Word, Teams, and Outlook.

The Prime Minister said Italy will be hosting an AI conference during the G7 Presidency this year.

Leave a Reply