BERLIN: Germany could follow in Italy’s footsteps by blocking ChatGPT on data security grounds, Germany’s data protection commissioner said in comments published on Monday to the Handelsblatt newspaper.
Microsoft-backed OpenAI took ChatGPT offline in Italy on Friday after the national information agency temporarily banned the chatbot and launched an investigation into the AI app’s suspected breach of privacy rules.
“In principle, this kind of activity is also possible in Germany,” Ulrich Kelber said, adding that this would fall under state jurisdiction. However, he did not outline such plans.
Kelber said Germany has asked Italy for more information about its ban. Data protection supervisors in France and Ireland said they had also contacted Italy’s data protection authority to discuss their findings.
“We are following up with the Italian regulator to understand the basis of their actions and are coordinating with all EU data protection authorities on this matter,” said a spokesperson for the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC).
OpenAI announced on Friday that it is actively working to reduce personal data when training its artificial intelligence systems.
While Ireland’s DPC is the lead EU regulator for several global tech giants under the bloc’s “one stop shop” information system, it is not the lead regulator for OpenAI, which has no offices in the EU.
Sweden’s data protection authority said it has no plans to ban ChatGPT and is not affiliated with the Italian watchdog.
Italy’s OpenAI investigation was launched after a cyber security breach last week led to people being shown excerpts of other users’ ChatGPT conversations and their financial information.
It accused OpenAI of failing to verify the age of ChatGPT users, who are supposed to be at least 13 years old. Italy is the first western country to take action against an AI-powered chatbot.
The information exposed over the course of nine hours included first and last names, billing addresses, credit card types, credit card expiration dates and the last four digits of credit card numbers, according to an email OpenAI sent to one customer. by the Financial Times.
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