Italy blocks ChatGPT! Privacy concerns, mainly exposure of children
Regulators in Italy issued a temporary ban on ChatGPT on Friday, citing privacy concerns, and said they had opened an investigation into how OpenAI, the US company behind the popular chatbot, uses data.
The Italian data protection agency said users lacked information about the collection of their data and that a breach in ChatGPT was reported on March 20.
"There appears to be no legal basis supporting the bulk collection and processing of personal data to 'train' the algorithms on which the platform relies," the agency said. The Italian regulator also expressed concerns about the lack of age verification for ChatGPT users. He argued that this "exposes children to receiving answers that are totally inappropriate for their age and awareness". The platform is supposed to be for users over 13, he pointed out.
The data protection agency said OpenAI will be banned from processing Italian users' data until it "complies with privacy regulation". OpenAI has been given 20 days to communicate the measures it will take to comply with Italy's data rules. Otherwise, it could face a fine of up to €20 million, or up to 4% of its annual global turnover.
Since its public release four months ago, ChatGPT has become a global phenomenon, amassing millions of users impressed with its ability to create compelling written content, including academic essays, business plans and short stories. But concerns have also emerged about its rapid spread and what the large-scale use of such tools will mean for society, putting pressure on regulators around the world to act.
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