(Rome) The Italian authorities announced on Friday their decision to block the ChatGPT conversational robot, accused of not respecting the legislation on personal data and of not having a system to verify the age of minor users.

This decision “with immediate effect” will result in “the temporary limitation of the processing of Italian user data vis-à-vis OpenAI”, creator of ChatGPT, said in a press release the National Personal Data Protection Authority.

ChatGPT appeared in November and was quickly taken by users impressed with its ability to clearly answer difficult questions, write sonnets, and even pass exams.

ChatGPT can also be used to write computer code, without having the technical knowledge.

In its press release, the Italian Authority points out that ChatGPT “suffered on March 20 a loss of data [data breach] concerning user conversations and information relating to the payment of subscribers to the paid service”.

The Authority also criticizes ChatGPT for “the absence of an information note for users whose data is collected by OpenAI, but above all the absence of a legal basis justifying the mass collection and storage of personal data, for the purpose of ‘training’ the algorithms running the platform”.

Further, while the bot is intended for people over 13, “the Authority emphasizes that the absence of any filter to verify the age of users exposes minors to absolutely no answers. commensurate with their level of development”.

The Authority asks OpenAI to “communicate within 20 days the measures taken” to remedy this situation, “under penalty of a penalty of up to 20 million euros or up to 4% of the turnover Annual Global Affairs”.

The announcement comes as European police agency Europol warned on Monday that criminals are ready to leverage artificial intelligence like the chatbot ChatGPT to commit fraud and other cybercrimes.

From phishing to misinformation and malware, the rapidly evolving capabilities of chatbots are likely to be quickly exploited by malicious people, Europol said in a report.

Elon Musk and hundreds of global experts on Wednesday signed a call for a six-month pause in research into artificial intelligences more powerful than ChatGPT 4, OpenAI’s model launched in mid-March, citing “major risks to humanity”.