ChatGPT Privacy Breach Spurs Italy to Take AI Offline

ChatGPT Privacy Breach Spurs Italy to Take AI Offline
  • ChatGPT was developed in 2022.
  • More than 100 million people use the AI program.
  • Italian regulators have banned the tool in their country temporarily over privacy concerns. 
  • ChatGPT’s parent company maintains it is respecting all privacy laws and complying with regulations.

( – Programs that use artificial intelligence (AI) are advancing at lightning speed. As they become more sophisticated, tech experts have begun to worry about the implication the programs will have on data privacy.

ChatGPT has been in the news frequently over the last few months. The tech program has surprised many with its AI abilities. But now, one country has forced it offline.

What Is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a language-processing tool that uses AI to have human-like conversations. Unlike an average chatbot, people can also use it to write papers, compose emails, and even code. Researchers have used the program to take the medical exam that aspiring doctors have to pass, the bar exam in one state, and even business exams — it was able to pass all of them. The program is currently open to the public to use for free.

More than 100 million people are already using the program. With that many people logging on to it, there are concerns about how the company is handling the issue of user data and whether it’s being protected. Also, there are questions about whether its parent company is respecting privacy laws.

Italian Authorities Take Action

The Italian Data Protection Watchdog ordered American tech startup OpenAI to stop ChatGPT from processing the data of Italian users. CNBC reported the move caused the AI program to cease working in the country. The regulator is now investigating the company to find out whether it breached Europe’s privacy laws.

The watchdog pointed to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s confession in March that there was a data breach. Some users were able to see the titles of chats that others had created.

The regulatory agency, which also goes by Garante, released a statement saying there “appears to be no legal basis underpinning the massive collection and processing of personal data” to train ChatGPT’s algorithms. The agency also claimed the program spreads lies and expressed concerns over a lack of age restrictions. BBC reported the statement said the program “exposes minors” to information inappropriate for their ages.

Italy’s actions made it the first country to ban the program. OpenAI has 20 days to explain how it will address the concerns. The American company told BBC that it is complying with privacy laws.

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