European watchdog creates Chat GPT taskforce

European Data Protection Board (EDPB), an independent body which unites national privacy watchdogs across Europe, has set up a task force on Open AI’s ChatGPT chatbot.

The news comes after the Italian government temporarily banned the tech last month, with authorities in Germany considering similar action. Spain’s AEPD watchdog this week has also launched an investigation into potential data breaches by ChatGPT.

While the Microsoft-backed tool has been praised for its usage and processing of information to deliver intelligent responses, there have been a number of concerns around ChatGPT including potential data breaches. Critics have also highlighted that ChatGPT, which become the fastest-growing consumer application in history with more than 100 million monthly users, could pose threats to safety, privacy and jobs.

The EDPB’s task force could be a first step towards creating a common policy on the privacy rules for AI.

In a statement, the body said: "The EDPB decided to launch a dedicated task force to foster cooperation and to exchange information on possible enforcement actions conducted by data protection authorities."

An unnamed source at one national watchdog cited by Reuters said that member states hope to align their policy positions over time. They added that the EDPB does not seek to punish Open AI, but to create more transparent policies.

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