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ChatGPT is restored after OpenAI responds to the Italian regulator

April 28, 2023
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It has been confirmed by Italy's data protection authority and the company that the ChatGPT chatbot has been reactivated in Italy after its maker OpenAI addressed issues raised by the agency.

After Italy's data protection authority, the Garante, temporarily banned ChatGPT in Italy last month, as a result of a suspected violation of privacy rules, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O)-backed OpenAI shut down ChatGPT in the country. As a result, the chatbot was temporarily taken offline.

Earlier this week, Guarantor had given OpenAI until Sunday to address its concerns in order to be allowed to begin operating again in the country by which time it will be able to do so.

As Garante pointed out last month, ChatGPT does not have any legal basis to justify the massive collection of personal information and its storage in order to "train" the chatbot.

OpenAI said it would offer a tool to verify the ages of chatGPT's users in Italy upon sign-up, which is supposed to give users the opportunity to confirm their ages that are supposed to be above 13 years old. A Garante had also accused OpenAI of not checking the age of ChatGPT's users.

In an announcement on Friday, the company announced that its privacy policy and opt-out form for user content will be made more visible to users.

It is also planning to provide a new form that European Union users can use to exercise their right to object to the company's use of their personal data to train its models, according to a spokesperson for the company.

In order to opt-out, people need to fill out the form with detailed personal information and provide evidence that their data is being processed by answering relevant questions.

In a statement, Garante said that it recognized the company's efforts to combine technological progress with respect for individual rights, and it hoped that this company would continue to follow this path of compliance with the European Directive on data protection.

A number of Western European countries have taken steps to curb ChatGPT, including Italy as one of the first, but its rapid growth has attracted the attention of lawmakers and regulators in a number of these countries.

It has been decided by a committee of European Union legislators on Thursday that new rules should be imposed that would require companies that deploy generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, to disclose any copyrighted material they may have used in the development process.

A task force was set up early this month by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), the organization that unites all the national privacy authorities in Europe, in response to Garante's interest in ChatGPT.

Garante said it will continue to investigate ChatGPT and work with the special task force on the investigation.

John Liu
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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