While the AI revolution is all the rage, there are genuine concerns about the spread of misinformation and how generative AIs like ChatGPT and Bard handle user privacy. So much so that one western nation has now outright banned ChatGPT.
The Italian data protection authority blocked ChatGPT with immediate effect on Friday. The regulator said it would ban and investigate OpenAI over privacy concerns.
Millions of users have used ChatGPT since its inception. Microsoft is also heavily invested in AI after backing OpenAI with billions of dollars.
However, the Italian watchdog is not convinced that OpenAI’s chatbot complies with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In its statement, the authority has accused OpenAI of unlawfully processing users’ data. It also highlighted the data breach the AI suffered last month when a conversation history feature leaked users’ chats and payment information.
“No information is provided to users and data subjects whose data are collected by Open AI. There appears to be no legal basis underpinning the massive collection and processing of personal data in order to ‘train’ the algorithms on which the platform relies,” the Garante wrote in its statement.
Moreover, the regulator raised concerns about the tech’s inability to detect the age of its users and prevent minors from using it. In contrast, Google’s rival AI Bard is only available to users over 18.
OpenAI has 20 days to respond to the Garante’s order else it could face some heavy penalties.