ChatGPT is once again available in Italy after a temporary ban

OpenAI says it has addressed several conditions that a regulator laid out.

Dado Ruvic / reuters

OpenAI says ChatGPT is once again available in Italy after it addressed a series of conditions set out by regulators. The Garante data protection authority wanted OpenAI to resolve several issues by the end of this month in order to lift a temporary ban on the chatbot.

“ChatGPT is available again to our users in Italy,” OpenAI told the Associated Press in a statement. “We are excited to welcome them back, and we remain dedicated to protecting their privacy.”

Italian regulators blocked ChatGPT in March over concerns that the AI's training methods and chatbot violated the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Officials ordered OpenAI to stop processing the personal information of users in the country while they looked into a potential data breach.

Earlier this month, the Garante told OpenAI to make sure there was a privacy disclosure on the website that details how data is collected and used to train ChatGPT's algorithms. The watchdog also directed the company to offer a form through which EU users could object to having their data used for training purposes and to add an age verification system.

OpenAI added privacy controls to ChatGPT this week. Among other things, the settings allow users to switch off their chat histories, which stops OpenAI from using that data for training purposes. According to TechCrunch, users in Italy are now seeing a pop-up that asks them to confirm they are aged at least 18 or, if they're between 13 and 17, that they have a parent's or guardian's consent to use ChatGPT.

Italy's data protection authority said in a statement that it "welcomes the measures OpenAI implemented," though it urged the company to follow through on other demands that the Garante has made. "This applies in particular to implementing an age verification system and planning and conducting an information campaign to inform Italians of what happened as well as of their right to opt-out from the processing of their personal data for training algorithms."

The watchdog added that it hopes OpenAI will keep up efforts to comply with the GDPR and suggested it will be keeping an eye on ChatGPT. "The Italian [supervisory authority] will carry on its fact-finding activities regarding OpenAI also under the umbrella of the ad-hoc task force that was set up by the European Data Protection Board," the statement concluded.