Italy becomes the first Western country to ban ChatGPT

Countries are starting to push back on the technology, with Italy becoming among the first to ban ChatGPT.


The response to AI tech like ChatGPT has varied from country to country and regulatory body to regulatory body, with some companies like Microsoft choosing to invest in and embrace it, while other agencies have opted to take a more cautious approach.

Among those choosing to pursue a route of caution include Italy which recently became the first Western country to ban ChatGPT. As reported by outlets like CNBC, the Italian Data Protection Watchdog ordered OpenAI to temporarily cease processing data of Italian users following a probe into a potential breach of Europe’s privacy regulations.

According to regulator Garante, a data breach at OpenAI reportedly allowed users to view the titles of conversations that others were having with the bot. In a statement made last Friday, Garante commented that there “appears to be no legal basis underpinning the massive collection and processing of personal data in order to ‘train’ the algorithms on which the platform relies.”

ChatGPT on a phone with a black background showing the OpenAI logo
© The New York Times

It’s noted in the reporting by CNBC that Italy isn’t the only country working to counter the rapid pace and expansion of AI tech either, with other governments in the process of drafting their own rules for dealing with AI. For example, the U.K. government recently asked regulators in different sectors to apply existing regulations already in place to AI.

While these proposals don’t mention ChatGPT by name, they do touch on principles for companies to follow when utilizing AI in their products from safety and transparency, to fairness, accountability, and contestability. Outside of this, there have been increased calls for AI regulation by figures like Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak who signed an open letter calling for a pause on AI system training for six months in order to allow for planning, management, and oversight to catch up.

OpenAI ChatGPT opened in a web browser on a black background
© Bloomberg

Speaking with CNBC, futurist and global technology innovation advisor for John Deere, Sophie Hackford, remarked on the importance of being careful with AI technology.

Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see how other countries respond to AI technology like ChatGPT, and whether others will move to ban or push back on it as seen in Italy recently. For more on Italy banning ChatGPT, be sure to read through the full reporting from CNBC.

For more on AI, brush up with some of our previous coverage as well, including Midjourney pausing its free trials for AI image generation over deepfake concerns, and Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak signing an open letter calling for pause on AI system training.

Senior Editor

Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 4, 2023 1:05 PM

    Morgan Shaver posted a new article, Italy becomes the first Western country to ban ChatGPT

    • reply
      April 5, 2023 12:42 AM

      Mamma mia

    • reply
      April 5, 2023 6:22 AM

      I was listening to a podcast and this was a great remark about "AI"
      Stefano Quintarelli, a former Italian lawmaker and technologist, came up with another alternative, “Systemic Approaches to Learning Algorithms and Machine Inferences” (SALAMI), to underscore the ridiculousness of the questions people have been posing about “AI”: Is “SALAMI” sentient?

      All this hype over two letters is crazy

    • reply
      January 1, 2024 10:18 PM

      Italy's decision to ban ChatGPT reflects the ongoing debate surrounding AI regulation and privacy concerns ( You can use ChatGPT here: ). As countries grapple with the rapid advancements in AI technology, instances like the Italian Data Protection Watchdog's order to halt ChatGPT processing highlight the need for careful consideration and oversight. This move signals a cautious approach by some governments, emphasizing the importance of addressing privacy issues and potential data breaches. The evolving regulatory landscape for AI, as seen in Italy and other countries, will likely shape future discussions and decisions regarding the responsible use of AI technology.

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