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ChatGPT back available in Italy: a review of the artificial intelligence service

After several weeks of being blocked, ChatGPT is once again available in Italy. On the day April 28, in fact, a press release was published on the website of the Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante per la protezione dei dati personali), where the reopening of the platform is announced, guaranteeing more transparency and more rights to European users and nonusers.

Before understanding what the news consists of, it is necessary to take a step back to better understand the issue.

The matter dates back to March 31, 2023, when the Privacy Guarantor, again through a statement published on its website, ordered:

an immediate temporary limitation on the processing of Italian users’ data by OpenAI, the US-based company developing and managing the platform.”

The reasons underlying this decision, as stated by the Authority in a press release on its website, would be essentially three:

  • lack of information to users about the collection of their personal data and the absence of a legal basis justifying its collection and storage;
  • information offered does not always coincide with actual data;
  • lack of a verification filter for the age users, being a service aimed at those over 13 years old.

Italy was therefore the first country ever to raise this issue, and European news agencies indicated that other European countries were also interested in this issue.

With the April 28 press release, therefore, the measures that OpenAI has decided to put in place to respond to the requests raised by the Garante were announced.

Let’s look at them in detail.

First, as soon as you access the site, you are asked through a window to enter your date of birth and then to confirm that you are either over 18 or over 13 but with parental consent. By mid-May, however, OpenAI must set out how it intends to proceed more effectively in age verification.

In the pop-up through which one logs in, a reminder of the privacy policy updated as of April 27 has been included, clarifying what data is collected, how it is processed, and informing users how that data is used to train the algorithm according to their interests and how anyone can object to the processing of personal data through a form.

Then two updates were also implemented for users from countries outside of Italy, namely:

– a kind of incognito mode that disables chat history and thus prevents data from being used to train the algorithm;

– the possibility for business accounts to have more control over their data thanks to simplified extraction modes that allow them to request the modification or deletion of certain data.

The Guarantor reported that the changes and strategies undertaken by OpenAI are satisfactory and represent a step forward in combining technological progress with respect for people’s rights.

Mediability always pays attention to the news related to the world of communication and the latest technologies to be up-to-date and in step with the times. It is because of this that we are able to respond appropriately to our clients’ needs. Contact us to learn more!

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