ChatGPT Banned in This Country Over Privacy Concerns; Could be Fined Over €20 million

According to the authorities, ChatGPT does not have a proper legal basis to be collecting personal information about the people using it.

Highlights
  1. OpenAI’s ChatGPT has reached over 100 million active users.
  2. The AI chatbot is banned in Italy over privacy concerns.
  3. Italian data protection authorities have ordered the ban on ChatGPT.

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ChatGPT has taken not just the internet, but also the world by storm. The generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by OpenAI has already crossed over 100 million active users worldwide, faster than any other tech company out there. The chatbot uses data available on the internet to generate responses to queries shared by users and replies with a human touch to it. The conversational behaviour has led to ChatGPT being used by individuals and also different institutes. However, there have been several concerns over the use of the AI chatbot. One such concern has triggered a ban on ChatGPT in Italy. 

The Italian government’s data-protection authority has ordered to block the advanced AI chatbot in its country. Let’s take a look at more details about the ChatGPT ban and the reasons behind it.


Italy Becomes First European Country to Ban ChatGPT

The Italian government has moved ahead and announced a ban on ChatGPT. Italy is the world’s first western country to order a blanket ban on the AI chatbot. The country’s data protection authorities issued the ban and initiated an investigation over privacy concerns. Prior to Italy, the OpenAI bot has been banned in China, Iran, North Korea and Russia.

According to the authorities, ChatGPT does not have a proper legal basis to be collecting personal information about the people using it. The system that collects the data is used to help train the algorithm to further respond to user queries. The Italian watchdog’s investigation will look into whether OpenAI’s chatbot complied with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which governs the way in which companies can use, process or store a user’s personal data.

Also read: ChatGPT banned by Indian, French and US Colleges, Schools and Universities to Keep Students from Gaining Unfair Advantage

Authorities stated that ChatGPT experienced a data breach, which leaked user conversations and payment information. The watchdog stated that there is no legal basis to justify “the mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of ‘training’ the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform”.

A BBC report further quoted the authorities and said that the app had no way to verify a user’s age and there could be a possibility that the app “exposes minors to absolutely unsuitable answers compared to their degree of development and awareness”. 

The government authorities reportedly have given 20 days to OpenAI to provide information and address the accused concerns. It will also be liable for a penalty of a fine of €20 million or up to 4 per cent of annual revenues.

At the moment, there is no word from the Indian government on its stance over ChatGPT’s operations in the country. The Indian government is already working on a new draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill, the original draft of which was scrapped last year. The new data protection bill is said to be introduced later this year and will be modelled on the European Union’s GDPR. More details of the same should be available in the coming weeks.