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ChatGPT is Available Again In Italy

San Francisco-based OpenAI, ChatGPT’s maker, announced on Friday that the artificial intelligence chatbot is available again in Italy after it was blocked for nearly a month by regulators who stated privacy concerns.

OpenAI said it now meets all the conditions that the Italian data protection authority wanted satisfied by an April 30 deadline.

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“ChatGPT is available again to our users in Italy,” OpenAI told The Globe and Mail over an email. “We are excited to welcome them back, and we remain dedicated to protecting their privacy.”
The rapid development of generative AI systems like ChatGPT has raised fears among officials and even tech leaders about potential ethical and societal risks. 
In April of 2023, the Italian watchdog, known as Garante, ordered OpenAI to temporarily stop processing Italian users’ personal information while it examined a possible data breach that could be violating the EU’s data privacy rules.

OpenAI has now claimed that it has “addressed or clarified the issues” raised by the Garante.

As part of these measures, ChatGPT will now have information on its website about how it collects and uses data, will make available a new form for EU residents to object to having their data used for training, and add a tool to verify users’ ages.

The Garante said in a statement that it “welcomes the measures OpenAI implemented.”

Areas of concern

Last month, the watchdog noticed that some users’ messages and payment information were exposed to others. Other areas of concern were also whether there was a legal basis for OpenAI to collect massive amounts of data used to train ChatGPT’s algorithms and the fact that the system could sometimes generate false information about individuals.

The return of the AI system was well received, with infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini writing on Instagram that his League party “is committed to help start-ups and development in Italy” through the use of the technology.

But the battle is not over yet, France’s data privacy regulator and Canada’s privacy commissioner are investigating ChatGPT after complaints about the chatbot surfaced.

Meanwhile, last month, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), the agency that united Europe’s national privacy watchdogs, formed a task force on ChatGPT aimed at developing a common policy on setting privacy rules on artificial intelligence.

Will bans be applied elsewhere, or has OpenAI made enough changes to ensure its program is compatible with all countries’ regulations?