OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, has restored access to their service in Italy. They claim to have made changes to meet Italian regulators. The Associated Press published a press release that was also sent to The Verge, stating “ChatGPT has been made available to our Italian users again.” “We’re thrilled to have them back and remain committed to protecting their privacy.”
OpenAI stated that it “addressed” or “clarified” the concerns raised by the Italian Data Protection Authority, or GPDP, in late March. OpenAI blocked ChatGPT after the GPDP claimed that ChatGPT had illegally collected users’ data, and failed to prevent minors from accessing inappropriate content. The company had 20 days to fix the problems, and told regulators in mid-April ChatGPT would be allowed back if they did it by April 30th.
OpenAI also linked with an updated form EU users can use to remove their personal data in accordance with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation. The company also announced that it will use a new tool to verify the age of users in Italy upon signing up. It has also published an article on its help center that details how OpenAI, ChatGPT, and other companies collect personal data, including contact information for their GDPR-mandated Data Protection Officer.
The GPDP did not immediately respond to a comment request. In a AP statement, the GPDP said that it “welcomes” the measures OpenAI has implemented. It also urged OpenAI comply with additional age verification changes as well as a public relations campaign informing Italians of their right to opt-out.
ChatGPT in Italy is not changing much as of yet. OpenAI is almost certain to face more challenges. Spain and Canada, as well as other countries, have launched or considered opening investigations to investigate OpenAI’s practices. This includes how it collects data for its large-language model, and what information this model provides for users. The AI Act is being advanced by European legislators, and could include additional requirements for OpenAI. This may involve new disclosures.