OpenAI’s ChatGPT accused of breaking data protection rules in Italy: 5 things to know | Tech News

OpenAI’s ChatGPT accused of breaking data protection rules in Italy: 5 things to know

Data protection authorities in Italy highlight serious breaches of the country’s privacy rules by OpenAI's generative AI tool ChatGPT. Here are 5 things you need to know.

By: AISHWARYA PANDA
| Updated on: Jan 30 2024, 13:47 IST
ChatGPT
Know all about data breach accusations by Italy against OpenAI's ChatGPT. (AFP)
ChatGPT
Know all about data breach accusations by Italy against OpenAI's ChatGPT. (AFP)

The European Union has been extremely strict about its data protection rules and it has been monitoring various platforms including AI tools and their activities as well as scope. And now, in Italy, Garante, the department responsible for evaluating compliance by AI platforms regarding data privacy rules has accused OpenAI's ChatGPT of breaching rules, which may result in extensive penalties or a ban on this AI tool. Know what the Italian authorities said in 5 points.

What Italian authorities are accusing ChatGPT of?

  1. Italy's watchdog named Garante, which is one of the most active members of the EU, has been assessing ChatGPT for over a year now and it has found major data privacy violations by the generative AI tool.
  2. ChatGPT has been under the scanner of various other countries who have expressed concern about privacy violations, and now Italian authorities have accused the tool of violating the country's data protection rules too.
  3. Notably, Garante had banned ChatGPT last year due to the breach of EU privacy rules, but the tool went live again in the region after OpenAI addressed some of the issues raised by the watchdog. Among the issues then raised by Garante were - OpenAI was failing to check the age of ChatGPT's users who are supposed to be aged 13 or above and secondly, the watchdog had said, ChatGPT has an "absence of any legal basis that justifies the massive collection and storage of personal data" to "train" the chatbot.
  4. However, the EU did not close the case and continued the investigation into ChatGPT's usage and has now accused the AI tool of one or more potential data privacy violations in a statement, Reuters reported. Garante did not specifically disclose the violation, and OpenAI did not provide a comment immediately.
  5. Garante has provided OpenAI with 30 days to present its case. It also notified the involvement of the European task force along with national privacy watchdogs for further investigation.

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How bad can things get?

If the violations and accusations are found to be true, then the Microsoft-backed OpenAI may have to face some big consequences including fines and a ban on the tool in the European region. EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) says that any company found breaching the rules will have to bear fines of up to 4 percent of its total global income.

Significantly, things may get worse for AI companies and their tools as the EU authorities are still grappling with the consequences of using this new technology and Italian authorities are among the most active and strict in terms of implementation so far.

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First Published Date: 30 Jan, 13:11 IST
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