Italy has become the first country to ban the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT, citing data protection concerns.
The ban was imposed by Italy’s data protection authority, which accused OpenAI, the California-based company that makes ChatGPT, of collecting personal data from users without authorization and failing to implement an age-verification system to protect minors from inappropriate content.
ChatGPT is already unavailable in China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran, where OpenAI chose not to make the service accessible.
Italy’s data protection authority also mentioned that it will not only block OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT, but will also investigate the company’s compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The regulation governs the processing, storage, and use of personal data.
The watchdog’s decision was prompted by a data breach that occurred on March 20, which affected user conversations and payment information. The regulator argued that there was no legal justification for the “mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of ‘training’ the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform.”
OpenAI has been instructed by Italian regulators to prevent users in the country from accessing ChatGPT until the company provides further information. The company has been given a deadline of twenty days to furnish the agency with relevant information and potential solutions before a final ruling is made on the tool’s future in Italy.
ChatGPT has taken the world by storm since its launch, with millions of users impressed by its sophisticated written content generation abilities, including academic essays, business plans, and short stories. However, there are concerns about its proliferation and the impact that widespread adoption of such technology could have on society. This has led to increasing pressure on regulators globally to take action to address these concerns.