The Italian privacy regulator Friday ordered a ban on ChatGPT over alleged privacy violations.
The national data protection authority said it will immediately block and investigate OpenAI, the U.S. company behind the popular artificial intelligence tool, from processing the data of Italian users. The order is temporary until the company respects the EU’s landmark privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Calls to suspend new ChatGPT releases and investigate its maker OpenAI over a range of risks for privacy, cybersecurity and disinformation are growing on both sides of the Atlantic. Elon Musk and dozens of AI experts this week called for a pause to updates of ChatGPT. Consumer advocacy group BEUC also called on March 30 for EU and national authorities including data protection watchdogs to investigate ChatGPT.
The authority said the company lacks a legal basis justifying “the mass collection and storage of personal data … to ‘train’ the algorithms” of ChatGPT. The company also processes data inaccurately, it added.
ChatGPT also suffered a data breach and exposed users conversations and payment information of its users last week, the Italian authority said. It added OpenAI does not verify the age of users and exposes “minors to absolutely unsuitable answers compared to the their degree of development and self-awareness.”
OpenAI doesn’t have an office in the EU but its representative in the European Economic Area has 20 days to communicate how it plans on bringing ChatGPT into compliance with EU privacy rules or face a penalty of up to 4 percent of its global revenue.
OpenAI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.