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Italy's ChatGPT ban slammed by deputy premier Salvini

Italy bans ChatGPT temporarily over privacy concerns.

Italy's deputy premier Matteo Salvini has criticised the decision by the Italian data protection authority to temporarily block the chatbot ChatGPT over privacy concerns.

Salvini, the leader of the right-wing Lega party, on Sunday described the ban as "excessive" and noted that there are "dozens" of other services based on artificial intelligence.

Calling for "common sense" and a swift restoration of the service , Salvini wrote on Twitter: "We must not be hypocrites: privacy issues affect practically all online services".

Italy on Friday became the first Western country to block the artificial intelligence tool, which was created by US start-up OpenAI and is backed by Microsoft.

The Italian data regulator launched an investigation into ChatGPT following what it said was a data breach involving user conversations and payment information, that may have violated European Union data protection rules.

The authority stated that there was no legal basis to justify "the mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of 'training' the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform."

The watchdog also said that as there was no way to verify the age of users, who are supposed to be over 13, the app "exposes minors to responses that are absolutely inappropriate" for their age.

The regulator said OpenAI has 20 days to respond to its concerns under penalty of a fine of up to €20 million.

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