Home OpenAI’s ChatGPT accused of breaching EU privacy laws

OpenAI’s ChatGPT accused of breaching EU privacy laws

OpenAI’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT has been accused of breaching privacy rules by an Italian regulator in a follow-up to a probe last year that included a short ban for the application.

As reported by Reuters, Italy’s data protection authority – known as Garante – has informed OpenAI of its findings, allowing a period of 30 days to respond.

Garante is said to be one of the most thorough organizations in the European Union (EU) in assessing AI compliance with the privacy regulations of the 27-member bloc.

Previously, the AI research company took action on concerns including the right of users to decline consent for personal data to be utilized to train algorithms but those moves don’t appear to have gone far enough.

That was only part of the instigation by the Italian body which has now found further discrepancies in terms of potential data privacy breaches, but the full details have not been disclosed at the time of writing.

OpenAI’s pledge to work constructively

In response, OpenAI believes it is operating within the parameters set by the EU’s rules on privacy.

“We actively work to reduce personal data in training our systems like ChatGPT,” it said in a statement, adding it “plans to continue to work constructively with the Garante”.

Garante now expects another reply from the San-Francisco-based AI heavyweight within 30 days taking into account the initial investigation from last year.

The brief ban imposed on ChatGPT meant Italy was the first major European nation to halt the progress and proliferation of the AI technology from OpenAI, with its fast development attracting cautious glances from politicians and other authorities in recent times.

The amicable comments attributed to OpenAI can be explained by the potential penalties for any companies found to have broken EU regulations. Under its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines, set out in 2018, firms can be hit with fines of up to 4% of their global turnover.

In addition, OpenAI will be aware it is not in their interest to get sidetracked by a serious disagreement with a body as powerful as the EU, one of its key markets.

Last December, the European bloc’s lawmakers put in place an initial agreement to regulate AI technologies such as ChatGPT and others in a move toward governance and accountability.

Image:Matheus Bertelli/Pexels

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Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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