Due to data security concerns, the German data protection commissioner has warned that Chat-GPT may face a potential block in Germany, similar to what happened in Italy. The remarks were made by the commissioner in an interview with the Handelsblatt newspaper, which was published on Monday.
The German data protection commissioner, Ulrich Kelber, acknowledged that, in theory, Germany could take action similar to Italy’s and block ChatGPT. He clarified that such a decision would be subject to state law, but he made no mention of any current plans to take such action.
Kelber revealed that Germany has requested more information from Italy regarding its temporary ban, prompting OpenAI, which is backed by Microsoft (MSFT.O), to take ChatGPT offline in the country.
To recall, artificial intelligence (AI) has dominated the technology world in recent months, with a large part of the credit going to OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT, which has brought AI into the mainstream narrative. Indeed, billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has described ChatGPT as the most “revolutionary” technology in the last 40 years.
However, despite ChatGPT’s growing global popularity, this AI technology has recently suffered a major setback. On Friday, ChatGPT was outlawed in Italy. It is the first time a government has shut down an artificial intelligence tool.
According to a New York Times report, Italy’s data protection authority has accused OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, of stealing its users’ data. Furthermore, the Italian authorities have stated that ChatGPT lacks an age-verification system to prevent minors from being exposed to illicit material.
With this decision, Italy has become the first country to prohibit ChatGPT due to privacy concerns. OpenAI has purposefully chosen to remain inaccessible in China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.
Following the ban, ChatGPT founder Sam Altman stated, “Of course, we defer to the Italian government and have ceased offering ChatGPT in Italy” (though we think we are following all privacy laws). Italy is one of my favourite countries, and I hope to return soon!”