ChatGPT is banned in Italy. A regulator that deals with privacy has decided that OpenAI handles the collection of personal data incorrectly. A privacy problem that weighs so heavily that the entire program is banned.
ChatGPT is an online program in which you can ask all kinds of questions that are then answered by artificial intelligence. Think, for example, of knowledge questions that you would also encounter in Triviant, or more complicated questions such as planning a sports schedule or weekend away. It has really taken off in the last few months as everyone sees the potential of artificial intelligence and/or machine learning. At the same time, there are also many dangers in these types of apps, which few people are aware of.
Some governments feel responsible for this, as is now apparent in Italy. And it is precisely a program that is surrounded by so much hype that immediately falls the hardest. That is being addressed. Whether it is still possible in Italy to use Bing’s ChatGPT options, for example, or Snapchat’s My AI assistant, is unknown. In any case, ChatGPT itself is out of the question.
OpenAI is not so… open
Contrary to what you would expect with that name, OpenAI would not be open at all about what personal data is collected and where that data goes. In addition, in Italy, ChatGPT is not allowed to be used by people under the age of 13, but that cannot be verified at all. ChatGPT does not have any age checks built in.
So there are several reasons for the Italians to decide that this innovative AI is not spent on its citizens. So it’s not even about the power that ChatGPT has, a power that has also been discussed this week (by all kinds of professors and tech celebrities). It is purely about something that many sites and apps do not handle well: providing clarity about what happens to the data. For example, if it ends up on US servers, then this is against EU rules.
Ban in Italy
So far, however, it only seems to be a ban in Italy. What ChatGPT has not helped in any case is the data breach that occurred earlier this month. The payment details of subscription holders were on the street, in addition to information about what questions users asked the chatbot. That is problematic not only for the users, but also for ChatGPT itself. That may have to pay a fine of up to 20 million euros (or 4 percent of annual turnover), if it does not come up with improvements. It only has 20 days to improve itself.
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