Italy’s data-protection authority has imposed an immediate, temporary ban on the processing of Italian users’ data by OpenAI, the company behind the artificial-intelligence platform ChatGPT.
It is the first European country to block the chatbot, which can answer questions using natural, human-like language, and can mimic writing styles.
The Italian watchdog, GPDP, said that there was no way that ChatGPT could continue processing data in breach of Italian privacy laws.
Concerns about children
It has also begun an inquiry, after a data breach affecting ChatGPT users’ conversations, and information on payments by subscribers to the service, was reported on 20 March.
“There appears to be no legal basis underpinning the massive collection and processing of personal data in order to ‘train’ the algorithms on which the platform relies,” GPDP said in an English version of its announcement.
It added that the lack of an age-verification mechanism exposed children to receiving responses that were inappropriate to their age and awareness, even though the service was addressed to users aged above 13, according to OpenAI’s terms of service.