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FameEX Hot Topics | Data Watchdog Requires Transparency for Lifting Italy's ChatGPT Ban

2023-04-14 11:25:50

Italy’s data protection agency, Garante, has specified the actions that OpenAI must take to revoke an order imposed on its ChatGPT chatbot service. The order was issued in March 2023, when Garante suspected ChatGPT of violating the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The agency mandated the United States-based firm to halt the processing of data belonging to individuals residing in Italy. Garante's press release mandates that OpenAI must increase its transparency and issue a comprehensive information notice outlining its data processing practices. The statement also requires OpenAI to implement age-gating measures immediately to prevent minors from accessing its technology and adopt more stringent age verification methods.

The privacy watchdog has specified that OpenAI must specify the legal grounds it relies upon for processing individuals’ data to train its AI. OpenAI cannot rely on contract performance for processing users' data, and must instead choose between obtaining user consent or relying on legitimate interests. Currently, OpenAI’s privacy policy references three legal bases but appears to give more weight to the performance of a contract when providing services such as ChatGPT. 
Furthermore, OpenAI must enable users and non-users to exercise their rights regarding their personal data. This includes the right to request corrections for any misinformation generated by ChatGPT or delete their data. Additionally, the regulatory agency has mandated that OpenAI allow users to object to processing their data to train its algorithms. It is required to conduct an awareness campaign in Italy to inform individuals that their information is being processed to train its AIs.

Garante has set a deadline of April 30 for OpenAI to complete most of these tasks. OpenAI has been granted additional time to comply with the extra demand of migrating from the existing, age-gating child safety technology to a more resilient age verification system. Specifically, OpenAI has until May 31 to submit a plan outlining the implementation of age verification technology that screens out users under 13 years old (and those aged 13 to 18 who have not obtained parental consent). The deadline for deploying this more robust system is set for Sept. 30. 
On Friday, March 31, following the concerns raised by the national data protection agency about possible privacy violations and failure to verify the age of users, Microsoft-backed OpenAI took ChatGPT offline in Italy.

It is essential for OpenAI to comply with the demands of the Italian regulatory agency to restart the operation of ChatGPT in the country. The mandate requires OpenAI to prioritize transparency, age-gating measures, and more stringent age verification methods while specifying the legal grounds for data processing. Additionally, OpenAI must enable users and non-users to exercise their data rights and implement an age verification system that screens out underage users. OpenAI has been granted additional time to comply with the requirements, but it is crucial to meet the deadlines set by Garante.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is for informational purposes only, doesn't represent any investment advice or FameEX's official view.

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