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ChatGPT, the Italian ban could expand to Europe

The decision of Guarantor for Privacy Italian to temporarily ban ChatGPT seems to have attracted the attention of other countries throughout Europa: il ban could extend to the whole EU. Indeed, although MEPs still disagree on the controversial AI Act, there seems to be an interest in coordinating to regulate the processing of personal data of generative artificial intelligences such as that of OpenAI. Without necessarily stipulating new rules, but using existing regulations such as the GDPR.

ChatGPT, the Italian ban could extend to all of Europe

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) offers users the control over your personal information. A legislation created above all to regulate the use of cookies by social networks and search engines. But GDPR rules can also apply to the rapidly growing category of generative AI companies.

Tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT rely on algorithms to generate responses that look very similar to what a human would give. Responding to text queries based on the analysis of large volumes of data, some of which may be owned by Internet users.

The Guarantor’s point on the age of users

Although the news of the ban has passed into the generalist discussion as a kind of clash between progressives and Luddites, the criticism is all about data processing. The Italian Guarantor has accused OpenAI, backed by Microsoft Corp, of failing to verify the age of ChatGPT users. Furthermore, he chastised “the absence of any legal basis justifying the massive collection and storage of personal data” to train the chatbot.

google bard chatgpt bing chat chatbot ai generativa min

No worries about possible robot apocalypses or jobs replaced by AI. It’s about understanding how ChatGPT collects your data and how it moderates access to the platform. A block therefore based on the GDPR and on the alleged non-fulfilments by OpenAI: a question that seems purely legal and not principled.

The possible band of ChatGPT in the rest of Europe

Privacy regulators in France e Ireland they reached out to their counterparts in Italy to find out more about the basis for the ban. As Reuters reports, a spokesperson for the Irish Data Protection Commissioner comments: “We are following the Italian regulator. We will coordinate with all EU data protection authorities in relation to this matter.”

Also there Germania could implement a strategy similar to that of Italy, blocking ChatGPT for data security problems. At least according to reports from the German data protection commissioner to the Handelsblatt newspaper.

Not all organizations agree. In fact, the privacy regulator in Sweden he said he had no plans to ban ChatGPT. Nor of having contacted the Italian Guarantor. There Spain he says he has no open dossiers – but he doesn’t rule out anything for the future.

Europe and its states

At the moment, general coordination on the subject seems far away – the different European approaches seem to avert it. It should also be emphasized that the Italian Data Protection Authority, like other privacy regulators, is independent of the government. Which makes political intervention complicated. Although, as we have seen for the case Facebook and for that TikTokover the long term, the guarantee bodies also tend to influence the decisions of governments and parliaments.


However, at the moment the interest of politics is different. Minister Salvini criticized the regulator’s decision calling it “excessive”. And a German government spokesman said that a ban on ChatGPT would not be necessary.

The future of ChatGPT at risk of being banned in Europe?

The move by the Italian authority last week was aimed at establishing a dialogue with OpenAI. Aiming to address issues raised about ChatGPT compliance. According to sources close to the Guarantor, there was no interest in a ban. But OpenAI would not respond to regulators over the weekend. And Friday OpenAI has took ChatGPT offline in Italy.

OpenAI does not have offices in the European Union to coordinate with privacy regulators. The service said Friday to work to reduce personal data in training its AI systems.

But after one nine-hour cybersecurity breach last month led to the display of excerpts of other users’ ChatGPT conversations and even their financial information, an investigation by the Privacy Commissioner was almost a given. Difficult to overcome the impasse without a dialogue between society and the authorities.

Italy is the first regulator to block ChatGPT, but there may soon be other entities doing the same in Europe. Maybe even against other AIs, like Google bard. We will keep you posted.

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.