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Spain asks EU data protection board to discuss OpenAI’s ChatGPT

Spain’s data protection agency has asked the European Union’s privacy watchdog to evaluate privacy concerns surrounding OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the agency told Reuters on Tuesday, as global scrutiny of artificial intelligence (AI) systems intensifies.

News of the request by the AEPD came as France’s privacy watchdog CNIL said it was investigating several complaints about ChatGPT and Italy’s data regulator was reviewing measures proposed by Microsoft Corp-backed (MSFT.O) OpenAI in response to concerns that led the regulator on March 31 to ban the chatbot temporarily. The Italian regulator’s board was meeting on Tuesday.

The Biden administration also said it was seeking public comments on potential accountability measures for AI systems as questions loom about its impact on national security and education.

“The AEPD understands that global processing operations that may have a significant impact on the rights of individuals require coordinated decisions at European level,” a spokesperson for the agency said in an emailed statement.

“Therefore, in the short term, it has requested that the issue of ChatGPT be included in the next Plenary of the European Data Protection Committee, so that harmonised actions can be implemented within the framework of the application of the General Data Protection Regulation.”

A plenary meeting of the European Data Protection Board (EDBP), which includes representatives of national data privacy watchdogs, is scheduled for April 13.

It was not immediately clear whether the ChatGPT topic would be discussed at the scheduled meeting this week.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, EDPB said it was not able to share information about meetings. The EDPB is generally not involved in investigations at a national level, which would the responsibility of national data protection authorities, it said.

The Italian regulator move has piqued the interest of other privacy regulators in Europe who are studying if harsher measures are needed for chatbots and whether to coordinate such actions. Reuters

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