Italy’s Data Protection Authority (DPA) Friday issued a statement banning further use of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) chat platform, within the country. They noted that ChatGPT has no age verification system in place for children users and unlawfully collected users’ personal data.
The DPA found that there is “no legal basis underpinning the massive collection and processing of personal data in order to ‘train’ the algorithms on which the platform relies.” The DPA also found that ChatGPT’s complete lack of any age verification mechanism exposes children to potential inappropriate responses, despite ChatGPT’s own terms of service claiming that it is designed for users aged 13 and above.
The DPA is an independent body which seeks to protect “fundamental rights and freedoms in connection with the processing of personal data, and to ensure respect for individuals’ dignity.” The DPA’s review of ChatGPT follows an alleged data breach of ChatGPT user data on March 20. The breach supposedly affected users’ conversations and information on payments by subscribers to the service.
In their statement Friday, DPA announced an “immediate temporary limitation on the processing of Italian users’ data” by OpenAI, the US-based company that owns ChatGPT. The DPA issued the order to OpenAI’s Europe-based representative, which will have 20 days to implement the measures. If they do not comply, OpenAI may face a fine of up to €20 million ($21 million) or 4 percent of their total worldwide annual turnover, under GDPR regulations.
The ban comes in the wake of similar concerns being raised over data privacy and child safety on TikTok, which has included testimony before the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce and a decision by the European Commission to ban TikTok on all staff devises.