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Italy Temporarily Bans ChatGPT; Threatens OpenAI with €20 Million Fine


April 04, 2023

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Italy Temporarily Bans ChatGPT; Threatens OpenAI with €20 Million Fine

The Italian Data Protection Authority (DPA) has decided that OpenAI’s ChatGPT services cannot operate in Italy due to security concerns.

One of the problems with ChatGPT, as enumerated by the DPA, is that users don’t know how the information they provide to the service is actually used by the company. While people are told that their data will be used, the actual process is not transparent.

“No information is provided to users and data subjects whose data are collected by Open AI; more importantly, there appears to be no legal basis underpinning the massive collection and processing of personal data in order to ‘train’ the algorithms on which the platform relies,” the authority explained.

A data breach affecting ChatGPT on March 20 only strengthened the DPA’s resolve to ban the service in Italy. The initial report regarding the data breach stated that a bug may have resulted in the leak of the chat histories of numerous users. The company also said the same problem might have caused the unintentional visibility of payment-related information of 1.2% of ChatGPT Plus subscribers.

The data breach was only one of the reasons Italy rejected the service. As it turns out, no age limit is set for ChatGPT, so minors can easily access it.

Although OpenAI’s terms of service state the service is for those above the age of 13, the lack of an age verification mechanism could expose children to responses that are inappropriate to their age and awareness levels, the DPA added.

OpenAI has 20 days to implement the measures required by Italy, or it could face a fineof up to €20 million or 4% of its total worldwide annual turnover. For now, OpenAI has restricted the use of ChatGPT for any users with an Italian IP.




Silviu is a seasoned writer who followed the technology world for almost two decades, covering topics ranging from software to hardware and everything in between.

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