NEWS3 April 2023

Italy blocks ChatGPT over privacy concerns

AI Europe GDPR News Privacy Public Sector Technology

ITALY – The Italian data protection regulator has temporarily banned ChatGPT, run by artificial intelligence (AI) firm OpenAI, following worries over the processing of personal data.


In a statement, the Italian Data Protection Authority said that the decision was taken to temporarily ban ChatGPT due to the lack of information on how users’ data was being stored and processed by the AI toll in order to ‘train’ its algorithms.

The lack of age verification mechanisms was also cited by the data protection authority in issuing the temporary ban for ChatGPT.

The authority added that a data breach had been reported on 20th March affecting ChatGPT users’ conversations and information on payments by subscribers to the service.

In a statement at the time of the breach, OpenAI confirmed a bug in an open-source library had made some data visible for a small number of users, such as names, email addresses, payment addresses, credit card expiration dates and the last four digits of credit card numbers.

The bug has since been rectified, the company added.

OpenAI is not established in the EU, however it has designated a representative in the European Economic Area.

Under Italian law, the company will have to notify the Italian authorities within 20 days of the measures it has implemented to comply with the order, or otherwise face a fine of up to €20m or 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover.

ChatGPT has been disabled in Italy, and OpenAI said in a statement that the company limits the use of personal data in systems such as ChatGPT.

“We are committed to protecting people’s privacy and we believe we comply with GDPR and other privacy laws.

“We actively work to reduce personal data in training our AI systems like ChatGPT because we want our AI to learn about the world, not about private individuals.”