ChatGPT Relaunches Operations In Italy After Addressing Regulatory Demands

ChatGPT Relaunches Operations In Italy After Addressing Regulatory Demands

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Open AI’s ChatGPT has begun offering services in Italy again after addressing the regulatory concerns raised by the nation’s data protection agency, Garante. 

The internet-favorite chatbot, which was banned in Italy for almost a month, is now operational, albeit following some systemic changes.

Back on March 31, Garante placed a temporary ban on ChatGPT services in Italy following suspicions of violations of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) by the highly popular Chatbot.

However, the ban was mainly driven by a data breach in ChatGPT which occurred on March 20, exposing user conversations and payment information. 

According to the Italian data security authority, ChatGPT had no legal backing to defend its massive database of individual data, which it claimed was utilized in training the algorithms behind its operation.

Garante also pointed out the lack of an age verification system, thus exposing minors and underage users of ChatGPT to answers which may be beyond their level of development and awareness. 

ChatGPT Complies With Garante, Introduces New Policies 

Almost a month following the ban, it appears ChatGPT developers, Open AI, have taken necessary measures to comply with the demands of the Italian security watchdog. 

According to the official statement confirming the reinstatement of ChatGPT services by Garante, Open AI has agreed to expand its privacy policy, allowing individuals across Europe, including non-users, to object to processing their data for the training of algorithms.

In addition, the Microsoft-backed company has now added an age verification feature allowing only users aged 13+ and 18+ to access ChatGPT. However, users aged 13+ are required to have obtained parental consent. 

Commending this regulatory compliance effort shown by Open AI, Garante stated: 

“The Italian SA acknowledges the steps forward made by OpenAI to reconcile technological advances with respect for the rights of individuals, and it hopes that the company will continue in its efforts to comply with European data protection legislation.”

In addition, Garante called on Open AI to fulfill all outstanding requests as laid out in an order dated April 11.



European Authorities Ramp Up Efforts On AI Regulations

As AI-powered services such as ChatGPT gain traction, European authorities intensify efforts to regulate the rapidly developing industry and protect users’  interests.

For example, following the temporary ban on ChatGPT by Garante, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), the general enforcer of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations, deployed a special task force to conduct comprehensive research on the chatbot.

Furthermore, members of the European Union parliament have initiated the trilogue stage of the AI Act – a bill aimed at checking the operations of AI-based companies. 

According to the proposals in the bill, AI products will be classified according to their risk level ranging from minimal, limited, high, and unacceptable.

This bill, If approved, will mandate all AI companies to disclose any copyrighted material employed in developing their products. 

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