Italian minister slams country’s temporary ban on US-based AI chatbot

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Italian Deputy Prime Minister He criticized the country’s data protection authority for immediately banning the AI ​​chatbot ChatGPT over privacy concerns.

“I find the privacy watchdog’s decision that forced #ChatGPT to block access from Italy disproportionate,” Matteo Salvini, leader of a populist party known as the League party, wrote on Instagram, according to Reuters.

Salvini went on to say that the data protection authority was “hypocritical” in blocking ChatGPT temporarily and called for common sense because “privacy issues concern practically all online services,” according to Reuters.

Italy’s Data Protection Authority, an independent agency working to “protect fundamental rights and freedoms with regard to the processing of personal data,” implemented a ban on OpenAI’s ChatGPT software last week. OpenAI, a California-based company backed by Microsoft, disabled ChatGPT for Italian users on Friday.

Chat has been banned in Italy due to privacy and data collection concerns

Matthew Salvini

Matthew Salvini (Reuters/Antonio Parinello/Files)

The watchdog group is investigating OpenAI on whether it complies with the General Data Protection Regulation, which governs how data is used, processed and stored in the European Union, according to the BBC. The monitoring group specifically accused OpenAI of failing to verify the age of ChatGPT users and whether they were over 13.

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We look forward to working closely with you [the Italian data agency] and educating them on how to build and use our systems,” according to Reuters, adding that the company is working to reduce the use of personal data when training its systems.

OpenAI, a California-based company backed by Microsoft, disabled ChatGPT for Italian users on Friday.

OpenAI, a California-based company backed by Microsoft, disabled ChatGPT for Italian users on Friday. (Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images/File)

Salvini added that the temporary ban could harm businesses and innovation and that he hopes to restore access to ChatGPT in Italy soon.

every technological revolution It brings great changes, risks and opportunities. “It is right to control and regulate through international cooperation between regulators and legislators, but this cannot be prevented,” he said.


The data protection authority said OpenAI has 20 days to respond to its concerns and that the company could face a fine of approximately $22 million.

In the US, a nonprofit research group called the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission last week, accusing OpenAI of violating an FTC rule prohibiting unfair and deceptive business practices. The nonprofit is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Artificial intelligence lab And stop it from issuing additional ChatGPT software.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Patrick Bloul/Photo Alliance via Getty Images/File)

More than 2,000 technology leaders, such as Elon Musk And Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, university professors and others also signed an open letter published last week calling on all AI labs to stop training systems that are specifically more powerful than GPT-4.

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The letter calls for a six-month halt in the labs, warning that “AI systems with human competitive intelligence could pose profound risks to society and humanity.”

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