The Data Protection Authority of Italy has temporarily banned Open AI’s Chat GPT chatbot and launched an investigation over a suspected breach of data collection rules. ChatGPT is accused by the agency of failing to check the age of its users, who are supposed to be 13 & above.
The agency, a.k.a. Garante, says Chat GPT has no legal basis to justify the massive collection & storage of personal data used to train the chatbot. 20 days are given to Open AI to respond with remedies or risk losing up to 4% of its worldwide turnover.
Chat GPT was still answering questions from Italian users on Friday evening.
There was no immediate response from Open AI to a request to comment.
Thus, Italy became the first western country to take action against a chatbot powered by AI.
It’s to be noted that Chat GPT is not available in mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, & Russia, & parts of Africa, where residents cannot create Open AI accounts. A tech craze has been set off by Chat GPT, prompting rivals to launch similar products & companies to integrate it into their apps & products.
According to many experts, new regulations are needed to govern AI because of its potential impact on national security, jobs, & education. Regulating & not banning AI may be favored by the European Commission.
Citing potential risks to society, Elon Musk & a group of AI experts called for a six-month pause in developing systems more powerful than Open AI’s newly launched GPT-4.
The Italian watchdog said OpenAI must report within 20 days what measures it has taken to ensure the privacy of user’s data or face a fine of up to 20 million euros, or 4% of its annual global revenue. A data breach was suffered by ChatGPT on March 20 involving users’ conversations & information about subscriber payments. It’s estimated that ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly active users in January, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history.