European privacy watchdog establishes ChatGPT Task Force

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The body that unites Europe’s national privacy watchdogs said on Thursday it has set up a working group on ChatGPT, a likely important first step toward a common policy for setting privacy rules on artificial intelligence.

The move by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) follows a unilateral move by Italy last month to limit ChatGPT — a stance Germany’s data protection commissioner said could be followed in Europe’s largest economy. Spain’s AEPD agency said Thursday that it will also launch a preliminary investigation into possible data breaches by ChatGPT.

ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence program that has caught the public’s attention for its ability to write quick answers to a wide range of queries, has grown to be the fastest growing consumer app in history with over 100 million monthly active users, with questions about threats that could pose a risk to security, privacy, and functionality. .

Experts, the US government, and many other European governments have also expressed concern about the rapid growth in adoption of ChatGPT and similar AI products.

“EDPB members discussed the recent enforcement action taken by the Italian data protection authority against OpenAI over the Chat GPT service,” the statement said.

“EDPB has decided to launch a working group dedicated to enhancing cooperation and sharing information on potential enforcement actions by data protection authorities.”

A source at one of the national watchdogs, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media, said member states hoped to align their political positions but that this would take time.

The source said that member states are not seeking to penalize or establish rules that would affect Microsoft-backed ChatGPT owner OpenAI, but rather “transparent” public policies.

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They said those present at Thursday’s meeting included policy experts who offered opinions and exchanged ideas, rather than being decision-makers.

EDPB is an independent body that oversees data protection rules in the European Union, made up of national data protection oversight bodies.

The organization could not be reached for comment.

Discussion of ChatGPT has been added to the panel’s agenda following a request from Spain to discuss the matter earlier this week.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Allison Williams

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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