Blocked in Italy, ChatGPT promises to “strengthen transparency”

Blocked in Italy, ChatGPT promises to «enhance transparency


The American start-up OpenAI, owner of the chatbot ChatGPT blocked since Friday in Italy for breaching personal data legislation, has pledged to “strengthen transparency” in its negotiations with the Italian regulator, the latter announced on Thursday. 

“OpenAI is committed to strengthening transparency in the use of personal data (…) and guarantees for minors,” said the Italian Personal Data Protection Authority in a statement.

< p> The start-up must also send by Thursday evening “a document indicating the measures responding to the requests of the Authority”, which “reserves the right to evaluate the measures proposed by the company” before deciding on the action to be taken on the blocking of ChatGPT in the peninsula.

Italy is the first Western country to block ChatGPT over data usage concerns, two months after banning another program marketed as a “virtual friend”, the Replika app.

She accuses ChatGPT of not respecting European regulations and of not verifying the age of minor users.

The Italian regulator published its press release the day after a videoconference meeting with several managers of 'OpenAI, including its CEO Sam Altman.

During this meeting, OpenAI, according to the regulator, “confirmed its willingness to collaborate with the Italian Authority to reach a positive solution to the issues raised”.

The Authority for its part “underlined have no intention of slowing down the development of AI (artificial intelligence, Ed) and technological innovation”, while reaffirming the importance of compliance with the standards protecting the personal data of Italian and European users”.

Appearing in November, ChatGPT was quickly taken by users impressed by its ability to clearly answer difficult questions, write sonnets or computer code. Funded by the computer giant Microsoft, which has added it to several of its services, it is sometimes presented as a potential competitor to the Google search engine.

AI also feeds much deeper fears only the use of personal data. The European Union is currently preparing a draft regulation which could be finalized by early 2024, for application a few years later.

Europol had warned at the end of March that criminals were ready to take advantage of the to commit fraud and other cyber crimes.

ChatGPT was also blocked soon after its release in several schools or universities around the world, after fears of cheating in exams, and companies advised against their employees to use this application.