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Italy has Banned ChatGPT!

Italy has blocked the AI service ChatGPT due to privacy concerns, which has led to a call for investigations by European authorities

OpenAI ChatGPT Enterprise

Italy has put a stop to ChatGPT’s operations on its turf. The country’s watchdogs cited concerns about the AI service’s handling of user data and privacy as the reason behind the ban. The Italian authorities contend that ChatGPT lacks a sound legal framework for gathering personal information from users, which the system uses to train its algorithms.

The watchdogs also accused OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, of neglecting to verify the age of users and enforce regulations prohibiting those under 13 from using the platform. According to the authorities, young users run the risk of encountering unsuitable responses from the chatbot due to their cognitive development levels.

Italy’s move is the latest in a series of criticisms directed at ChatGPT and the broader AI infrastructure underpinning OpenAI’s products. Recently, a group of experts called for the suspension of the development of new AI technologies due to concerns that the mad rush to produce new tools could pose a danger.

The ban on ChatGPT in Italy has led to a call for investigations by European authorities. The European consumer organization BEUC has urged EU and national authorities to investigate potential privacy problems and the lack of regulation for ChatGPT and other similar systems. BEUC has called for an immediate investigation into the risks posed by ChatGPT and other chatbots for European consumers.

Italy’s regulators cited a data breach last week in which users reported being able to see other people’s chat histories as the reason for the ban. OpenAI does not have an office in the EU, but it has a designated representative in the European Economic Area. This representative now has 20 days to provide information on measures it has taken in response to regulators’ concerns.

It is estimated that ChatGPT has been used by 100 million people worldwide in its first two months, but it is not clear how many of its users are in Italy. At the time of publication, the service still appears to be accessible from Italy, but the ban requires OpenAI to stop processing the data of Italian users until the privacy issues are resolved. This suggests that the company may be required to block Italian users from accessing the service.

OpenAI has yet to comment on the ban or the call for investigations from European authorities. The ban in Italy is just the latest setback for ChatGPT and the broader AI infrastructure underpinning OpenAI’s products. As concerns about AI’s impact on privacy and safety continue to mount, it remains to be seen how the industry will respond to these challenges.

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