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European Data Protection Authorities to Investigate OpenAI’s ChatGPT

A task force of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) released a report that will guide member countries’ data protection authorities (DPAs) as they investigate OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT.

The report provides preliminary views on some aspects of the investigations but does not prejudge the findings that will be made by each DPA, the EDPB said in a Friday (May 24) press release announcing the publication of the report.

The investigations focus on ChatGPT’s adherence to requirements of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to the release.

Aspects of the investigations include the lawfulness of collecting training data for ChatGPT, transparency and data accuracy, the release said.

Reuters noted Friday that the report said ChatGPT is not meeting data accuracy standards required to ensure compliance with the EU’s data rules.

“Although the measures taken in order to comply with the transparency principle are beneficial to avoid misinterpretation of the output of ChatGPT, they are not sufficient to comply with the data accuracy principle…,” the EDPB task force’s report said.

The task force added in the report that the approach to training the model may lead to biased or made-up outputs; that ChatGPT’s outputs are likely to be taken as factually correct by users; and that data accuracy is one of the guiding principles of the GDPR rules.

OpenAI did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

The EDPR, which connects Europe’s national privacy regulators, established the task force to address ChatGPT in April 2023 after Italy decided to regulate the chatbot.

Germany’s data protection commissioner suggested at the time that other companies could follow suit, and Spain’s watchdog organization also announced a preliminary investigation into possible data breaches by ChatGPT.

Italy banned the use of ChatGPT over privacy concerns but made it available again in the country in April 2023 after OpenAI said it fulfilled the demands of the country’s data protection authority.

Weeks earlier, Italy had become the first Western country to outlaw the chatbot after the country’s data protection authority announced an investigation into ChatGPT’s alleged breach of the GDPR’s privacy rules and age-verification practices.

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