Italian Authorities to Assess AI Platforms Following ChatGPT Ban


The Italian Data Protection Authority has revealed that it is planning to review AI platforms and tools available online to ensure they comply with data protection and privacy laws. This comes in the wake of the recent ban implemented on OpenAI’s ChatGPT last March. The agency is planning to hire three experts who are well-versed in the field of law to supplement their staff in order to ramp up the scrutiny of the powerful AI technology.

Agositino Ghiglia, a member of the agency’s board, shared that they plan to start a wide-scope review once the review is complete. Should the team come across any potential violations, they will launch a new probe. He also mentioned that the Garante board has only 144 staff, which falls short when compared to its EU peers such as in France, Spain, and Britain.

The agency has been known to be proactive when it comes to General Data Protection Regulation, being the first to impose the ban on the AI chatbot company Replika as well as to put restrictions on TikTok in Europe. Furthermore, there have been fines set on facial recognition software providers Clearview AI.

With the evolution of AI technology, the authority members are becoming increasingly aware of the potential breaches that could occur. In the case of ChatGPT, it was found to not meet all of the EU data privacy rules, which prompted the Italian authorities to take action and impose a temporary ban. In addition, the legitimacy of the ban was defended by the Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini as he argued that a restriction of such scale on a popular online AI platform by a democracy is excessive.

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OpenAI was given a twenty day period to comply with the data protection and privacy laws and it appears they have successfully done so, leading to the lift of the ban and ChatGPT back online in the country. This only goes to show the need for rigorous enforcement to ensure the safety and security of users’ data.

OpenAI is a San Francisco-based company founded in December 2015 by a group of entrepreneurs, academics, and engineers from the tech industry, including Elon Musk and Reid Hoffman. The company focuses on researching artificial general intelligence and is primarily backed by venture capitalists as well as other technology companies, such as Microsoft, Amazon, and AI startup DeepMind.

Agositino Ghiglia is a member of the Garante Board situated in Italy which is in charge of data protection and privacy laws. Ghiglia holds a Ph.D. in Law and a degree in Law, and is a professor of Privacy Law at the University of Urbino. As a member of the Garante Board, he is actively involved in the many decisions and public activities of the agency, such as its surveillance on AI platforms, its imposition of fines, and its restrictions regarding facial recognition software.

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