On April 3, a representative for Germany’s data protection commissioner informed Handelsblatt. In particular, a representative for Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, Ulrich Kelber, told Handelsblatt, “In principle, the same process might also happen in Germany,” referring to Italy’s ban on ChatGPT.
Previously, on April 1, Italy’s national personal data protection office ordered the temporary suspension of ChatGPT as authorities investigated a potential leak of user data. The Italian authority chastised ChatGPT for failing to warn users that it gathers and maintains their information and for failing to implement any filter to check the user’s age.
According to Mr. Ulrich Kelber, there are currently no plans in Germany to ban chatbots (software applications used to manage an online discussion system by text or text-to-speech, rather than providing live discussions with real users), and such a decision will be left to the jurisdiction of each German state.
Mr. Kelber further stated that the German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection is collecting “additional material” from Italian authorities to submit to German state regulators for evaluation. According to Reuters, French, and Irish privacy watchdogs have also contacted their Italian colleagues to discuss the probe.
ChatGPT, available in November 2022, will leverage OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 language model to answer user concerns, solve arithmetic problems, create tales, compose poetry, and even code. While OpenAI President Sam Altman acknowledges that the technology has the potential to “replace a lot of work today,” others have warned of the more dangerous prospect that chatbots signify a shift toward artificial intelligence that surpasses human intelligence and escapes human control.
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