ChatGPT temporarily banned in Italy as it is investigated over privacy concerns
Italy’s data protection agency said on Friday it had opened an investigation into OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot over an alleged breach of the artificial intelligence app’s data collection rules.
The agency also accused ChatGPT, which is financially backed by Microsoft, of failing to verify the age of its users. The app is meant to be restricted to people aged 13 and over.
The agency said in a note that it had temporarily restricted the chatbot’s use of Italian users’ personal data.
OpenAI did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Since its release last year, ChatGPT has sparked a technology craze, prompting rivals to launch similar products and companies to integrate it or similar technologies into their apps and products.
The Italian agency alleged “the absence of any legal basis that justifies the massive collection and storage of personal data in order to ‘train’ the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform”.
It is estimated to have reached 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after its launch, making it the fastest growing consumer app in history, according to UBS research published on last month.
This week, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, Europol, warned of the potential misuse of the chatbot in phishing attempts, disinformation and cybercrime, adding to a chorus of concerns ranging from legal to ethical issues.
Meanwhile, in India, the Punjab Haryana High Court on Tuesday became the first Indian court to use ChatGPT (artificial intelligence) technology to rule on a defendant’s bail plea and dismissed the petition.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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