The ChatGPT chatbot has been reactivated in Italy after its creator, OpenAI, addressed concerns expressed by Italy’s data protection authority, the agency and the company said on Friday.
ChatGPT was taken offline in Italy on March 31, 2023 by Microsoft-backed OpenAI after the country’s data protection regulator, also known as Garante, temporarily banned the chatbot and opened an investigation into the artificial intelligence application’s alleged violation of privacy standards.
Garante has given OpenAI until Sunday to address its concerns in order for the chatbot to resume operations in the country.
Garante stated last month that ChatGPT has a “absence of any legal basis that justifies the massive collection and storage of personal data” in order to “train” the chatbot.
Garante also accused OpenAI of failing to validate the age of ChatGPT’s users, who are supposed to be 13 or older. In response, OpenAI stated that it will provide a tool to verify users’ ages in Italy upon sign-up.
According to a company spokeswoman, it will also give a new form for European Union users to exercise their right to object to its use of personal data to train its models.
People who want to opt out must provide detailed personal information, including evidence of data processing via relevant prompts, on the form.
Garante stated that it recognises the steps taken to balance technical advancement with respect for people’s rights and hopes to continue on this road of compliance with European data protection rules.
Italy was the first Western European country to prohibit ChatGPT, but its fast growth has piqued the interest of lawmakers and authorities worldwide.
Garante stated that it will continue its investigation into ChatGPT and will collaborate with the special task team.