Following Italy’s ban of the popular chatbot, ChatGPT last week, Germany also might follow suit. This is due to the European nation’s concerns surrounding personal information and security. According to Handelsblatt newspaper, on Monday, German commissioner for data protection Ulrich Kelber mentioned that his nation could enforce a similar ban. This all comes as Italy became the first Western nation to ban the chatbot last week due to a lack of age verification and other issues.
This all came as the German government launched an investigation into a suspected breach of privacy rules by OpenAI’s chatbot. Kelber stated of the ban issue, “in principle, such action is also possible in Germany.” But unlike Italy, there is an issue of jurisdiction within Germany. The minister mentioned that the ban itself would fall under each of the federal states of Germany. So an outright ban on the entry of Germany is unlike, it could just mean that it would take time as each federal state addresses the issue.
Other data privacy watchdogs in other Euro-zone nations such as Ireland and France have already stated that they are in contact with their Italian counterparts. They’re discussing their approach and the findings of the Italian investigation. A spokesman for Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner said in part of how they’re coordinating with Italy, “We are following up with the Italian regulator to understand the basis for their action and we will coordinate with all EU data protection authorities in relation to this matter.”
But not all lawmakers are silent about the issue in Italy. Deputy Minister Matteo Salvini called the ban by Italian regulators “excessive. He weighed in via Instagram and even called the move “hypocritical,” due to the fact that there are “privacy issues concern practically all online services.”
Instead of a ban, he called for lawmakers to work together and address these concerns through the creation of legal frameworks that can contend with the rapidly evolving technology. In the end, he called for cooperation and not a ban, saying in part, “Every technological revolution brings great changes, risks, and opportunities. It is right to control and regulate through an international cooperation between regulators and legislators, but it cannot be blocked.”
The calls for legal frameworks to deal with the fast-growing advances of AI aren’t just isolated within the European continent. In the United States, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives used a speech completely generated by ChatGPT to bring attention to lawmakers to better understand AI and how to address concerns of privacy, security, and citizen data.
Calls for legal frameworks and responsible AI are also growing within the data science community. Only time will tell how the global community and nations within it address AI.