EU creates privacy task force focused on ChatGPT

14 Apr 2023

Image: © Rokas/

Multiple regulators in the EU have reportedly said they will look into the OpenAI creation, which is facing a data investigation in Canada.

The EU’s key GDPR regulator has created a dedicated task force on ChatGPT, which could lead to more countries taking action against the AI chatbot.

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) said the purpose of this task force is to “foster cooperation and to exchange information on possible enforcement actions”.

The creation of this task force was prompted by the recent development in Italy, in which the country’s privacy regulator issued a ChatGPT ban due to alleged privacy violations.

After the ban was issued, experts like Abnormal Security’s Dan Shiebler predicted that other regulators would follow Italy and issue bans on ChatGPT.

The deputy commissioner of Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) Graham Doyle told the Business Post that the agency had contacted Italy’s watchdog to learn more about why it banned ChatGPT.

Since then, Germany’s data protection commissioner has hinted at a possible ChatGPT ban, while a Spanish watchdog said it plans to launch a preliminary investigation into the AI model, Reuters reports.

The Italian authority claimed OpenAI – the creator of ChatGPT – processes data inaccurately and lacks a legal basis to justify the mass collection and storage of data. It also claims that there is no age verification system in place for children.

The watchdog said OpenAI suffered a data breach on 20 March which exposed the conversations and payment information of affected users.

The Italian authority said it will investigate to see if OpenAI breached GDPR, while the company told the BBC that it complied with data laws.

Investigations and regulations

The AI model ChatGPT became a phenomenon when it launched last November, rapidly becoming a popular tool worldwide. The chatbot is estimated to have reached 100m users by January.

But since its launch, concerns have been raised about how the software can be misused, with examples of misinformation and malware. The focus has recently turned to data protection and ChatGPT could face a wave of investigations into its data practices.

Last month, sources told Reuters that rapid advances in AI technology such as ChatGPT have complicated efforts to agree on new rules for the EU’s upcoming AI Act.

ChatGPT is currently being investigated in Canada, due to an allegation that OpenAI is collecting, using and disclosing personal information without consent.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic