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Italy restores ChatGPT after OpenAI responds to regulator

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ChatGPT logo is seen in this illustration taken, February 3, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

April 28 (Reuters) - The ChatGPT chatbot was reactivated in Italy after its manufacturer OpenAI rectified problems made by Italy's data protection authorities, the agency and the business said on Friday.

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O)-backed OpenAI pulled ChatGPT down in Italy last month after the country's data protection regulator, also known as Garante, temporarily banned the chatbot and initiated an inquiry into the artificial intelligence application's potential infringement of privacy standards.

Garante has issued a deadline until Sunday to OpenAI to resolve its concerns for permitting the chatbot to resume functioning again in the nation.

Last month, Garante stated ChatGPT had a "absence of any legal basis that justifies the massive collection and storage of personal data" to "train" the chatbot.

Garante had also accused OpenAI of neglecting to check the age of ChatGPT's users who are meant to be aged 13 or above, OpenAI stated it would give a tool to verify users' ages in Italy upon sign-up.

The business said on Friday it would give better visibility to its privacy policy and user content opt-out form.

It will also create a new form for European Union users to express their right to object to its use of personal data to train its algorithms, a company representative said.

The form asks persons who wish to opt out to supply extensive personal information, including proof of data processing through appropriate questions.

Garante said it acknowledges the measures made to integrate technical innovation with respect to people's rights and expects that the firm will continue along this road of compliance with European data protection rules.

Italy was the first western European nation to ban ChatGPT, but its fast rise has garnered attention from politicians and authorities in numerous countries.

A committee of European Union parliamentarians on Thursday agreed on new regulations that would oblige firms implementing generative AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, to declare any intellectual content used to construct their systems.

Following Garante's interest in ChatGPT, European Data Protection Board, the entity that unifies Europe's national privacy watchdogs, set up a task force on the chatbot earlier this month.

Garante said it would continue its examination into ChatGPT and will collaborate with the special task team.

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