ChatGPT Returns to Italy After Ban

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The organization has taken steps to resolve or provide explanations for concerns that were raised by regulatory authorities regarding data protection.

OpenAI, the company that developed ChatGPT, has announced that it has lifted the ban on the service in Italy. The company said that it has made certain changes to comply with the regulations set by the Italian authorities. OpenAI stated that it is delighted to have Italian users back on board and it is committed to ensuring their privacy is protected. The statement was published through The Associated Press and also shared with The Verge.

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According to OpenAI, it has successfully resolved or explained the concerns that were brought up by the Italian Data Protection Authority (GPDP) in late March. The GPDP had accused ChatGPT of collecting users' data unlawfully and failing to prevent minors from accessing inappropriate content. As a result, OpenAI had temporarily suspended ChatGPT in Italy. The GPDP had given OpenAI a period of 20 days to address the issues, and by mid-April, they confirmed that ChatGPT could be reinstated if the concerns were addressed by April 30th.

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OpenAI has implemented several modifications to comply with the requirements of Italian regulators. Among the changes, the company has introduced a new form that European Union (EU) users can use to request the removal of their personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Additionally, OpenAI has developed a new tool that will verify the age of users during the signup process in Italy. The company has also published a help center article detailing how it and ChatGPT collect personal data, along with information on how users can contact its data protection officer, as mandated by GDPR. The Verge was directed to this new form for EU users.

The GPDP did not respond immediately to The Verge's request for comment. However, in a statement shared with The Associated Press, the GPDP stated that it welcomed the modifications made by OpenAI. It also urged the company to implement additional age verification measures and a publicity campaign to educate Italians about their right to opt-out of data collection.

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Although the changes made by OpenAI to ChatGPT do not seem to significantly alter its operations in Italy, the company is expected to face further obstacles. Other countries, including Canada and Spain, have either opened or are contemplating investigations into OpenAI's practices, such as how it collects data to train its language model and the information produced by the model. Additionally, the proposed AI Act in Europe may impose new requirements, which could include more significant information disclosures, for companies like OpenAI.

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