On Wednesday, Italy’s data protection agency laid out what OpenAI must do before ChatGPT can operate again in the nation. The company took the AI chat app offline in Italy last month after the government restricted its data processing and launched an investigation into privacy breaches.
OpenAI has until April 30 to inform Italian users of “the methods and logic” behind the processing of data and provide a way for them to exercise their existing personal data rights. Longer-term deadlines were also given for age-gating to the app and launching an awareness campaign so Italians know what their rights are.
Why we care. Italy is the first EU nation to take any regulatory action on ChatGPT. In the past most EU restrictions around privacy have come from France and Germany. Spain has also requested the EU’s privacy data protection board to look into ChatGPT’s practices.
As generative AI technology continues to evolve, regulators are taking a hard look at its use of user data across the web, especially when large language models are trained on that data without the consent that GDPR law requires.
Conditions for ChatGPT’s return. OpenAI has until April 30 to inform users in Italy about how data is used in its algorithms to run its AI models.
OpenAI will also have to provide tools that allow those whose data is used — including users and non-users — to request a correction of data inaccuracies or to have the data removed if a correction isn’t possible.
Age verification. OpenAI has until the end of September to install a robust age verification system that keeps out users under age 13. And they must submit a plan for this system by the end of May.
Additionally, users aged 13 to 18 who don’t have parental permission will also need to be restricted from using the app.
Campaign. As another condition for lifting the ban, OpenAI will need to launch a local awareness campaign on radio, TV and digital to educate Italians about ChatGPT’s processing methods and data usage. The company has until May 15 to launch the campaign.
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