ChatGPT: Italy Bans Generative AI Models

ChatGPT: Italy Bans Generative AI Models

The authorities allege violations of data protection laws. Among other things, they lack an age check for minors.

The Italian data protection authority has banned ChatGPT developer OpenAI from processing the data of Italian users. The ban is effective immediately. The authority considers the use of data given to generative AI models such as ChatGPT for training purposes to be a violation of data protection laws.

In a press release, the authority justifies the move by saying, among other things, that in its view OpenAI does not seek consent from users to use their data for training purposes or to improve AI services. In addition, the data protectors complain that services such as ChatGPT do not offer age control, but children may be exposed to content that is “absolutely inappropriate for their age.”

There is a threat of fines of up to 20 million euros

“There appears to be no legal basis for the mass collection and processing of personal data in order to ‘train’ the algorithms on which the platform relies,” the Italian data protection authority added.

OpenAI’s designated representative in the European Economic Area now has 20 days to comply with the order. Otherwise, the AI research company faces a fine of up to 20 million euros, or 4 percent of its total annual global revenue.

The decision was made following a data breach on March 20 that exposed conversations of ChatGPT users and information about subscriber payments. This incident highlighted the potential risks of using AI tools that are actually still in a development phase and yet are already available to the public.