ChatGPT blocked in Italy

April 6, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

Italy has ordered to block "with immediate effect" the Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool, ChatGPT, of the US technology company OpenAI, accusing it of not respecting the law on protecting users' data. 

In a statement, the Italian Guarantor for the Protection of Personal Data (GPDP) assures that it has opened an investigation and that, in the meantime, "the block will be maintained until it is clarified whether or not ChatGPT complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the pioneering European privacy law."

In the letter, the Privacy Watchdog points to "the lack of information to users and all interested parties whose data is collected by OpenAI" but, above all, "the absence of a legal basis justifying the massive collection and storage of personal data, to train the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform." 

"As evidenced by the checks carried out, the information provided by ChatGPT does not always correspond to the actual data, thus determining an inaccurate processing of personal data," it asserts.

The Italian agency also accuses ChatGPT of not checking the age of its users. A priori, children under 13 could not use this conversational system, but the Guarantor suspects this limitation could be a dead letter.

ChatGPT blocked in Italy… OpenAI remains silent

OpenAI, which has no office in the European Union (EU), has appointed a representative in the European Economic Area, and has up to 20 days to announce what measures it will take to comply with the Italian authorities' request. 

Failure to comply with European law could result in a fine of up to 20 million euros or up to 4% of global annual turnover. The regulator asserts that a data breach affecting ChatGPT users' conversations and payment information of subscribers to the service was reported on March 20.

ChatGPT is the best-known relational AI platform that can emulate and elaborate on human conversations. Its launch last November 30 triggered a wave of impacts. 

ChatGPT is part of Microsoft now

Microsoft has adopted and integrated this technology into most of its services, from its Bing search engine to office applications such as Word or Excel. There is no doubt that ChatGPT has become the tool of choice. 

Searches for this word, according to Semrush, have already accumulated 2.1 million searches since its launch. However, we must keep in mind that ChatGPT is still under development, and we must review all the information we will take from it.

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