Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning , Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development

Italian Regulator Again Finds Privacy Problems in OpenAI

ChatGPT Maker Has 30 Days to Respond
Italian Regulator Again Finds Privacy Problems in OpenAI
ChatGPT again faces scrutiny from the Italian data protection agency. (Image: Shutterstock)

ChatGPT maker OpenAI has 30 days to respond to the Italian data regulator after an investigation by the agency concluded the company apparently had violated European privacy laws.

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The Italian data protection authority, known as Garante, said Monday that it had notified the San Francisco company of its findings.

The Italian agency in 2023 imposed a temporary ban on OpenAI's large language model chatbot after it said the company had violated the European General Data Protection Regulation (see: Italian Privacy Watchdog Imposes ChatGPT Ban).

It restored in-country access to the chatbot in April after OpenAI agreed to changes including age verification and an opt-out form to remove one's personal data from the large language model - although users must provide evidence that their personal data is accessible through a prompt of the model.

In a Monday update, the Italian regulator said a review of the changes introduced by OpenAI had revealed that the company continues to violate trading bloc privacy law. It will take into account the outcome of a European task force empaneled last April by the European Data Protection Board.

OpenAI faces privacy scrutiny from the German, French, Spanish, and Polish data regulators regarding the company's privacy practices (see: European Scrutiny of ChatGPT Grows as Probes Increase).

Europe is preparing to implement a comprehensive regulation on artificial intelligence. The AI Act bans high-risk AI systems, such as emotion recognition, and facial data scraping from CCTV.

OpenAI did not respond to a request for comment. Owing to increased European scrutiny, the company in December 2023 introduced its updated privacy policy, which provides information on data collected by the company and how the company processes it. Under the revised policy, OpenAI users can now object to the processing of their data for direct marketing or legitimate interest.

"You can exercise some of these rights through your OpenAI account but please note these rights may be limited," the company said.

About the Author

Akshaya Asokan

Akshaya Asokan

Senior Correspondent, ISMG

Asokan is a U.K.-based senior correspondent for Information Security Media Group's global news desk. She previously worked with IDG and other publications, reporting on developments in technology, minority rights and education.

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