Italy’s data watchdog gives OpenAI deadline of April 30 to comply with its demands

    For the protection of children, Italy has ordered OpenAI to immediately implement an age-gating system for the purpose of signing up for the service.


    Italy’s data protection watchdog, what is also called Garante, has given OpenAI a deadline of April 30 to comply with its set of “concrete” demands that address the concerns over the company’s artificial intelligence bot ChatGPT. Italy banned ChatGPT on March 31, becoming the first Western country to curb the AI chatbot amid privacy concerns.


    OpenAI will have to comply by 30 April with the measures set out by the Italian SA concerning transparency, the right of data subjects – including users and non-users -, and the legal basis of the processing for algorithmic training relying on users’ data,” the order read.


    “Only in that case will the Italian SA lift its order that placed a temporary limitation on the processing of Italian users’ data, there being no longer the urgency underpinning the order, so that ChatGPT will be available once again from Italy,” it added.


    Talking about the orders, the authorities have asked the company to let users in the country know and easily access the information about the arrangements and logic of the data processing required to operate ChatGPT. Italian users must be presented with the notice prior to completing their registration and also confirm that they are above 18 years of age. Furthermore, Italy’s watchdog also asked ChatGPT-parent to enable people, including non-users, to rectify their personal data that is generated incorrectly by the service, or completely erase the same if rectification was found to be technically unfeasible.


    For the protection of children, the Italian authorities have ordered OpenAI to immediately implement an age-gating system for the purpose of signing up for the service. The company is asked to submit within May 31 a plan for the age verification system that filters out users aged below 13 as well as users aged between 13 and 18 for whom no consent is available by the holders of parental authority. The deadline for implementation of this system is set at September 30.


    A slightly more generous deadline of May 15 has been given to the company to promote an information campaign in agreement with the Garante via radio, TV, newspapers, and the internet to inform individuals in Italy on the use of their personal data for training algorithms.


    Last month, some users complained of a bug on the ChatGPT that let users see the chat titles of other users. Although the company later announced it has fixed the bug, the problem cost the company in a manner that its AI chatbot got temporarily banned from Italy last month. The Italian authorities further said that the OpenAI chatbot lacks a sound legal framework for gathering personal information from users, which the system uses to train its algorithms.


    Italy’s ban on ChatGPT prompted several authorities, including the U.S., Spain, and Germany, across the globe to study and investigate the impact and potential damage that such AI platforms could cause. Elsewhere, OpenAI announced on Tuesday to pay users a maximum reward of up to $20,000 for reporting bugs in its systems. The OpenAI bug bounty program has been listed on Bugcrowd, a crowdsourced security platform, and the company announced offering $200-$6500 per vulnerability.


    ChatGPT has taken the world by storm since its launch in November and intensified the AI race with several big players like Google and Baidu gearing up to emulate the success of OpenAI chatbot. Short for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, ChatGPT is a popular AI text generator and has been a center of attention for many due to its human-like response. OpenAI, the parent of the AI-based text generator, has a “multimillion-dollar investment” by American tech major Microsoft.


    author avatar
    Monika Asthana




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