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OpenAI: ChatGPT violates European data protection rules, Italy says

According to Italian authorities, the handling of user data by the AI-based chatbot ChatGPT violates European law. The developer OpenAI can comment on the results of a corresponding investigation within 30 days, said the Italian data protection supervisory authority.

Due to legal concerns, Italy briefly blocked access to ChatGPT in spring 2023. After OpenAI agreed to a few requirements, the program was then available there again.

As a result, the Italian data supervisory authority initiated investigations because it suspected violations of European data protection law in at least one case. These can result in fines of up to four percent of a company’s global sales, which is approximately $40 million. According to information from the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, a special committee is now to be set up to bring together data protection authorities across the European Union.

The technology behind ChatGPT can simulate human interaction and is trained with tons of data. These are usually skimmed from the Internet. In addition, all user inquiries and the information they contain are incorporated into the providers’ databases in order to improve future responses.

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