March 27, 2024

Poland Investigates OpenAI and ChatGPT After GDPR Complaint

Poland’s Personal Data Protection Office (UODO) has initiated an investigation into a complaint against OpenAI’s ChatGPT. An anonymous applicant has accused the company of handling data in an “unlawful, unreliable manner.”

UODO’s president, Jan Nowak, stated on September 20th that this wasn’t the first time concerns had been raised about ChatGPT’s compliance with European data protection and privacy principles.

The complaint alleges that OpenAI processes data in an unlawful and non-transparent manner. The applicant claims that ChatGPT generated false information about them, and their requests for exercising rights under the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) were not addressed by OpenAI. However, Nowak acknowledged that taking action against OpenAI could be challenging because it’s a company located outside the European Union.

Nowak explained, “The case concerns the violation of many provisions on the protection of personal data, which is why we will ask OpenAI to answer a number of questions to conduct thorough administrative proceedings.”

Jakub Groszkowski, UODO’s deputy president, expressed concerns about OpenAI’s approach to European data protection principles raised by the complaint. UODO aims to address these concerns, particularly in light of the GDPR’s fundamental principle of privacy by design.

Notably, this isn’t the first time OpenAI has faced questions about GDPR compliance in Europe. In March, Italian authorities temporarily blocked ChatGPT and launched an investigation over potential data privacy breaches. Italian regulators also noted a lack of information provided to users regarding data collected by OpenAI.

In April, German regulators sought answers regarding OpenAI’s intentions and its ability to adhere to the stringent data privacy laws outlined in the EU’s GDPR. During the same month, the European Data Protection Board established a special working group focused on OpenAI.

Image by frimufilms on Freepik

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