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Italian Watchdog Finds Data Protection Breaches in ChatGPT AI Chatbot

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Italian Watchdog Finds Data Protection Breaches in ChatGPT AI Chatbot

(CTN News) – ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence-powered chatbot, violates data protection regulations, according to an Italian authority.

An investigation by Italy’s Data Protection Authority (DPA) revealed data privacy violations, which the BBC believes are related to personal data collection and age protections.

The chatbot relies on receiving vast volumes of data from the internet.

OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has 30 days to react with its defence. The BBC contacted OpenAI for comment.

Italy has adopted a tough position on data protection about ChatGPT.

It was the first Western country to ban the device in March 2023, citing privacy concerns.

ChatGPT was reactivated about four weeks later, after claiming to have successfully “addressed or clarified” the issues made by the DPA.

Italy’s DPA undertook a “fact-finding activity” at the time, which it claims has resulted in data privacy infractions.

In a statement, the DPA claimed that it “concluded that the available evidence pointed to the existence of breaches of the provisions contained in the EU GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation]” .

They are related to the massive collection of user data, which is then utilised to train the algorithm.

The authority is also concerned that young users would be exposed to inappropriate content provided by the chatbot.

Firms that violate the GDPR can face fines of up to 4% of their global revenue.

Italy’s DPA collaborates with the European Union’s European Data Protection Board, which established a special task force to oversee ChatGPT in April 2023.

At the time of ChatGPT’s reinstatement in Italy in April 2023, the Italian regulator informed the BBC that it “welcomed the measures OpenAI implemented” but urged even greater compliance.

According to a spokeswoman, it requested additional action in the form of “implementing an age verification system and planning and conducting an information campaign to inform Italians of what happened as well as their right to opt-out from the processing of their personal data for training algorithms”.

At the time, an OpenAI spokeswoman stated that the company would continue to engage with the regulator.

OpenAI has deep ties to IT behemoth Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars in the company.

Microsoft has included AI into its Bing search engine, as well as its Office 365 programmes Word, Teams, and Outlook.

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