Italy lifts block on ChatGPT after data privacy concerns

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Italy lifts block on ChatGPT after data privacy concerns
Italy on Friday reactivated artificial intelligence service ChatGPT after suspending it over data protection concerns last month. Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP

Italy reactivated ChatGPT a month after temporarily banning the artificial intelligence chatbot over data privacy concerns, the software owner said on Friday.


"ChatGPT is available again for our users in Italy. We are delighted to welcome them back and remain committed to protecting their personal data," a spokesperson from OpenAI, the chatbot’s maker, said.

ChatGPT caused a global sensation when it was released last year for generating essays, songs, exams and even news articles from brief prompts.

But critics have fretted over how ChatGPT and its competitors collect and process their data.

In March, Italy became the first Western country to take action against the popular AI chatbot.

READ ALSO: Italy blocks artificial intelligence app ChatGPT over data privacy failings

The country's data protection watchdog had said that US firm OpenAI, which developed ChatGPT, had no legal basis to justify the mass collection and storage of personal data for training the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform.

The authority also highlighted a lack of clarity over whose data was being collected.

It said that inaccurate information being provided by the chatbot was not being handled properly and accused the firm of exposing children to "absolutely unsuitable answers".

OpenAI now has information on its website "about how we collect and use training data" and "greater visibility" on the homepage of ChatGPT and OpenAI about the policy regarding personal data.


The company also said it had implemented a tool "to verify in Italy the age of users" once they log in.

The Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali) acknowledged on Friday "the steps taken to combine technological progress with the respect of people's rights".


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