Spain’s Data Protection Agency is investigating ChatGPT for “possible breach of regulations” | technology

Doubts about the impact of an AI application created by OpenAI, ChatGPT, have reached Spain. After suspicions were raised in the governments of Italy, the United States and China, the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD) announced this Thursday that it had “initiated ex officio pre-investigation proceedings against the US company for a possible breach of the regulations”, according to a statement from the Spanish state entity.

As reported by the AEPD, the initiative arose last week, when the Spanish agency asked the European Data Protection Committee (EDPB) to “include ChatGPT as a topic to be taken up at its general meeting, bearing in mind that global remedies that could have a significant impact on the rights of individuals It requires concerted and coordinated actions at the European level in implementing the General Data Protection Regulation.”

The proposal was chosen by the EDPB, of which the Spanish agency is a part, at the meeting they held today and it was decided to create a working group for cooperation and exchange of information between the entities that are part of the European Data Protection Committee.

In this way, the Spanish investigation will not be individual or individual, but will form part of the investigation carried out by the rest of the entities responsible for data protection.

The AEPD states that the investigation is not being opened against “the development and implementation of innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence” but to ensure “full respect for existing legislation”. It concludes that “only from the starting point can technological development compatible with people’s rights and freedoms be achieved.”

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At the end of March, Italy decided to ban the use of ChatGPT for breaching data protection regulations and lacking filters for minors. Thus, Italy became the first European country to take drastic measures when it was deemed that the tool did not respect consumer data protection law. The measure will be lifted when it is found to comply with Italian privacy regulations.

France, Ireland and Germany immediately requested information from the Italian authorities, and after communication, the German Data Protection Commissioner was also in favor of banning ChatGPT due to the risk to data security.

For its part, the National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms (the privacy watchdog in France), announced, as Spain has now done, that it is investigating the request for complaints from users.

The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, had already warned of Brussels’ skepticism about the development of this technology and declared that content generated by artificial intelligence must carry a specific warning about its origin. “In everything that is generated by AI, whether it be text or images, there will be an obligation to notify that it was created by them.”

All European skepticism has now come together in the EDPB’s decision to create a research working group of which the Spanish Data Protection Agency is a part.

Just two days ago, the Joe Biden administration created a 60-day period to collect ideas on how to legislate against the unwanted effects of these AI-based programs that could pose a risk in areas as disparate as privacy, disinformation, or the labor market.

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“It’s amazing to see what these tools can do even in their early stages. We know we need to put some safeguards in place to make sure they are used responsibly,” said Alan Davidson, director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and promoter of the US legislative initiative.

The Cyberspace Administration of China also submitted a regulatory proposal on Tuesday to regulate generative AI services. According to the text, the Beijing government intends for companies with these technologies to provide security assessments to authorities before their products are released to the public, according to Reuters. The rules drafted by this regulator indicate that service providers will be responsible for the legality of the data used to train their products and for taking measures to avoid discrimination when designing algorithms and training that data.

On March 29, more than a thousand specialists, including Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and historian Yuval N. Harari, demanded in a joint letter a six-month moratorium on the development of these programs. The letter warned that “AI labs have entered into an uncontrolled race to develop and deploy increasingly powerful digital minds that no one, not even their creators, can reliably understand, predict or control.”

Generative AI is a computer application capable of creating text, images, videos, or music, and its potential use has led Microsoft to invest millions of dollars in OpenAI, the company that launched ChatGPT, to automatically generate content across all of its products. , from the word processor to e-mail.

The difference with other previous services is that this new AI capability allows you to create from scratch and not just recognize patterns to achieve a result. Content ranges from original product designs to creating new works of digital photography or music. One of its greatest capabilities is its ability to develop services, with the ability to differentiate complex requests and create a solution based on many factors. Buzzfeed, an American telecommunications company, took the stock market by announcing that it would use it to personalize its content.

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It is just an example of usage. Design companies of all kinds can use it to create new models more quickly, pharmaceutical companies to create new vehicles, or production companies to create high-quality video content tailored to the demands of the majority of the audience.

But in light of these potential advantages, its use raises legal, ethical, and reputational uncertainties and risks of creating false content. Likewise, its use means a higher cost of energy and therefore pollution.

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