Spain opens an investigation into OpenAI's ChatGPT over a potential data breach

Spain has become the latest country to open an investigation into ChatGPT.
Spain has become the latest country to open an investigation into ChatGPT. Copyright Michael Dwyer/AP
Copyright Michael Dwyer/AP
By Euronews and AFP
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Spain has become the latest country in Europe to investigate ChatGPT over a suspected breach of data protection rules.


Spain announced on Thursday the opening of an investigation into ChatGPT, a chatbot driven by artificial intelligence (AI), on the same day that the European Union launched a working group to promote European cooperation on the subject.

The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) said in a statement that it had "opened on its own initiative" an "investigation into the American company OpenAI," the creator of the conversational chatbot, "for a possible breach of the regulations" governing data protection.

Spain's decision to investigate ChatGPT follows moves at the end of March by Italy to block the chatbot over concerns about data use.

ChatGPT first appeared in November and was quickly snapped up by users impressed by its ability to answer difficult questions clearly, write sonnets or computer code.

Funded by computer giant Microsoft, which has added it to several of its services, it is sometimes presented as a potential competitor to the search engine Google.

Action against ChatGPT

ChatGPT is already inaccessible in a number of countries, including China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

On Thursday, the French personal data protection authority, or CNIL, also decided to open "a control procedure".

For its part, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), which is responsible for coordinating the authorities equivalent to the CNIL in the various EU member states, announced the creation of its "working group," in particular to promote an exchange of information on possible actions that could be taken against ChatGPT.

In its press release, the EAPD said it was in favour of "innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence" but that their development must always be "compatible with the rights and freedoms of individuals".

Following the Italian decision, OpenAI told AFP that it was "concerned about data protection" and that it complied with the regulations in force in the EU.

On Wednesday, the Italian data protection watchdog indicated there was a way back for ChatGPI, outlining a raft of requirements that OpenAI will have to satisfy by April 30 for the ban on AI chatbots to be lifted.

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