In a groundbreaking decision that felt more like an April Fool’s prank on its citizens, Italy has become the first country to ban ChatGPT due to concerns over privacy and the alleged unlawful collection of personal information. Here’s a quick overview of the ban and what this means for users in Italy:
Why did ChatGPT get banned in Italy?
On March 31st, Italy's national data protection authority (known as the Garante) announced its decision to promptly block and investigate OpenAI, the U.S. company responsible for the widely-used artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT, from processing Italian users' data. This temporary order will remain in effect until the company complies with the EU's notable privacy legislation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In an official statement released, Garante flagged child safety concerns over the lack of any systems preventing minors from easily accessing the tech. In addition, the regulator also raised concerns over the potential of mass misinformation due to the tendency of AI chatbots to make up facts.
ChatGPT’s recent fumble has not helped its case: Just last week, a bug in an open-source library caused a data breach that exposed user conversations and leaked payment-related information of 1.2% of the ChatGPT Plus subscribers who were active during a specific nine-hour window—a costly mistake that was highlighted in Garante's statement explaining its decision.
What will happen to ChatGPT accounts in Italy?
At the moment, OpenAI seems to be implementing a basic geoblock to restrict access in Italy. This means that using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to change to a non-Italian IP address could provide a straightforward solution to bypass the restriction. However, if a ChatGPT account was initially registered within Italy, it might no longer be accessible. In that case, users looking to get around the block may need to create a new account using a non-Italian IP address.
As consolation, OpenAI has stated that it will provide refunds to all Italian users who purchased the ChatGPT Plus subscription service in the previous month. Additionally, the company mentioned that it is "temporarily pausing" subscription renewals in Italy, ensuring that users will not be charged while the service remains suspended in the EU nation.
How long will the ban last?
At the time of writing, there has been no news on how long the ban will last or if the ban would be lifted once compliance issues have been resolved.
Given the wide range of GDPR issues laid out by the Garante, it is also unclear if OpenAI would be able to address the issues raised without fundamentally changing its data collection methods or revamping its service. As of now, the national privacy watchdog has given the company 20 days to report the steps they have taken to comply with the regulators' demands.
Despite its unfortunate ban, OpenAI reiterates to geoblocked users in Italy: “We are committed to protecting people’s privacy and we believe we offer ChatGPT in compliance with GDPR and other privacy laws.”
A ChatGPT alternative that works even better
With ChatGPT banned in Italy, users who have been using the AI chatbot daily may suddenly find themselves at a lost of what to do. Fortunately, there is a ready solution available in the market!
Hypotenuse is an AI content marketing platform that manages and automates all types of content writing for businesses, including product descriptions, AI images, advertising copies, and long-form blog posts. Built using proprietary machine learning techniques, Hypotenuse's shiny suite of tools has been designed specially for copywriters to write high quality and high conversion content at unbelievable speeds. Just recently, Hypotenuse released a ChatGPT alternative called HypoChat which features an integrated document editor and link scraping capabilities—making AI chatbots a powerful tool for all types of content generation needs.
Below is a brief look at some of Hypotenuse's most popular tools and features that are already helping thousands of content marketers worldwide:
HypoChat—Best of Both Worlds
Cheekily named HypoChat, Hypotenuse's AI chatbot has been trained to understand human-style questions and generate speedy, accurate answers while connected to the web. If you need to brainstorm a few synonyms to describe something—writers do this all the time—all you have to do is type in your instruction and HypoChat will take care of the rest. Plus, you can quickly insert snippets of the conversation into the editor without having to switch between tools.
Best of all, you can now research and write long-form content while staying on the same web application. The addition of the Compose tool also makes it easy to write more paragraphs without having to specify the context in the chat. When you’ve run into a writer’s block, hit “Compose” and watch as the AI writes more for you.
Content Detective—Your Personal Research Buddy
Ask any one of your writer friends what they dislike most about the writing process and they'd most likely say research. Well, not anymore!
Hypotenuse AI's research tool for blogs is an invaluable asset for serious writers. It allows them to create content that is not only accurate and trustworthy, but also tailored to the topic of their article. Integrated directly into the blog writing tool, Content Detective eliminates the need to spend countless hours searching for sources. Instead, it provides suggested sources relevant to the H2 headings which are ranked according to relevance, accuracy and trustworthiness. Writers can then focus on creating quality content that effectively communicates their message and resonates with their target audience while knowing exactly where their sources come from and being able to fact-check them easily. What's more, any ideas retrieved from external sources will be paraphrased for you, saving you the extra step of rewriting them.
Say goodbye to hallucination and plagiarism!
Bulk Workflows—Import, Generate, Export
Copywriters are busy folks. Hypotenuse know this, which is why they created a platform designed for bulk workflows.
Gone are the days of copywriting for thousands of products one by one. Now, with just a few clicks, you can import and generate product descriptions for all your products at one go. Include product features and SEO keywords of your own choice and choose between different writing tones to go with different products. Then, edit the generated descriptions directly on the text editor and mark them as 'done' to keep a tidy workspace. Once you're satisfied with the results, export your product descriptions and titles in bulk into a neat file.
And this is how you complete a month's work in a day!
Steps to sign up on Hypotenuse
Want to try it out for yourself? Follow these 5 simple steps below to experience the power of AI for yourself!
Step 1: Head to Hypotenuse AI and hit the purple “Try for free” button.
Step 2: Sign up for free Hypotenuse account, or hit “Continue with Google” to sign up using your Google account. If you’re already a Hypotenuse user, simply log-in as usual!
Step 3: Complete email verification by clicking on the “Verify email” button sent to your inbox.
Step 4: Select HypoChat, then hit “Continue”.
Step 5: Start experimenting with HypoChat freely!
Pro Tip: If you need more guidance or ideas on how to use Hypotenuse to supercharge your content creation process, our Help Center is a great place to start.
Is it really better?
P.S. This article is co-authored by Hypotenuse AI and its human writer.