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OpenAI, the creator of the widely used chatbot, ChatGPT, is currently facing legal issues in several jurisdictions. In Australia, Brian Wood, Mayor of Hepburn Shire, may sue OpenAI if ChatGPT’s erroneous statements about him serving a prison term for bribery are not rectified.
Wood was surprised to hear from the general public that ChatGPT had wrongly accused him of being involved in a foreign bribery scandal linked to a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia during the early 2000s.
While Wood indeed worked for the subsidiary, according to his legal representatives, he was the one who alerted the authorities about the offering of bribes to foreign officials in order to secure currency printing contracts, and he was never charged with any offence.
If Wood does sue OpenAI, it would be the first instance where OpenAI is being sued for claims made by ChatGPT.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is investigating OpenAI against a complaint alleging the collection, use and disclosure of personal information without consent.
“We need to keep up with—and stay ahead of—fast-moving technological advances, and that is one of my key focus areas,” Canadian privacy commissioner Philippe Dufresne, said in a media statement.
Recently, Italy also became the first European nation to ban ChatGPT. The country’s data protection authority has directed OpenAI to halt the processing of data belonging to Italian users on a temporary basis.
“There appears to be no legal basis underpinning the massive collection and processing of personal data in order to ‘train’ the algorithms on which the platform relies,” the regulator said.
If OpenAI fails to come up with an explanation, the San Francisco-based startup could potentially have to pay a fine of around USD 21.8 million.
Besides Italy, other nations that have banned ChatGPT include China, Russia and North Korea.