Italy’s data protection regulator blocks ChatGPT citing data breaches

ROME (AP) – The Italian government’s data protection commissioner said on Friday that he Artificial intelligence software ChatGPT in the course of a data breach.

In a statement on its website, the Italian data protection authority called its measures temporary “until ChatGPT respects privacy”. The measure taken by the supervisory authority is to temporarily prevent the company from storing Italian user data.

US-based OpenAI, which developed ChatGPT, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

While some public schools and universities around the world have done so blocked the ChatGPT website from their local networks because of student plagiarism issues, it’s not clear how Italy would block this at the national level.

The move is also unlikely to impact applications from companies already licensed with OpenAI to use the same technology powering the chatbot, such as Bing search engine from Microsoft.

The AI ​​systems that power such chatbots, known as large language models, are capable of this mimic human writing styles based on the vast treasure trove of digital books and online writings they have included.

The Italian regulator said OpenAI must report to it within 20 days what actions it has taken Ensuring the confidentiality of user data or face a fine of up to €20 million (nearly US$22 million) or 4% of annual global sales.

The agency’s statement said that on March 20, ChatGPT faced a data leak “regarding users’ conversations and information related to subscribers’ payment for the service.”

OpenAI previously announced that it had to take ChatGPT offline on March 20th to fix a bug that allowed some people to see the titles or subject lines of other users’ chat history.

“Our research also found that 1.2% of ChatGPT Plus users may have shared personal information with another user,” the company said. “We believe the number of users whose data was actually shared with someone else is extremely small and we have contacted those who may have been affected.”

Italy’s data protection commissioner lamented “the lack of notification to users and all stakeholders whose data is collected by OpenAI” and “above all, the lack of a legal basis justifying the massive collection and storage of personal data with the aim of ‘training’ algorithms that the underlying the functioning of the platform.”

The agency said that the information provided by ChatGPT “does not always correspond to real data, which establishes the storage of inaccurate personal data”.

Finally, it was noted that “there are no filters whatsoever to verify the age of users, exposing minors to answers totally inappropriate for their level of development and self-esteem”.

A group of academics and technology industry leaders released a letter on Wednesday urging companies like OpenAI to do the same Pause the development of more powerful AI models until the fall to give society time to weigh the risks.

The San Francisco-based company’s CEO, Sam Altman, announced this week that he will be traveling across six continents in May to talk to users and developers about the technology. That includes a planned stop in Brussels, where European Union lawmakers have negotiated sweeping new rules to curb high-risk AI tools.

Altman said his stops in Europe would include Madrid, Munich, London and Paris.


O’Brien reported from Providence, Rhode Island. AP Business Writer Kelvin Chan contributed from London.

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