Italy’s Data Protection Authority Accuses OpenAI’s ChatGPT of Breaching Privacy Rules
Italy’s data protection authority, known as Garante, has officially informed OpenAI that its artificial intelligence chatbot application, ChatGPT, violates data protection regulations. The watchdog confirmed this development on Monday, signaling its commitment to an investigation initiated last year.
Garante stands out as one of the European Union’s most proactive entities in evaluating AI platform compliance with the bloc’s stringent data privacy framework. In a bold move last year, the authority had already imposed a ban on ChatGPT due to alleged breaches of EU privacy rules. On Monday, Garante revealed that Microsoft-backed OpenAI has a 30-day window to present its defense arguments. The ongoing investigation will consider findings from a European task force consisting of national privacy watchdogs.
Italy became the first Western European country to restrict ChatGPT, a rapidly evolving AI chatbot that has garnered attention from lawmakers and regulators alike. The decision to ban the application stems from concerns about potential violations of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was introduced in 2018. According to GDPR, any company found to be in breach of data protection rules could face fines amounting to up to 4% of its global turnover.
This development follows the milestone in December when EU lawmakers and governments reached provisional terms for regulating AI systems, including ChatGPT. The agreement marked a significant step toward establishing comprehensive rules to govern the rapidly advancing technology, reflecting the EU’s commitment to safeguarding data privacy in the era of artificial intelligence.