OpenAI draws scrutiny from Polish authorities over alleged violations of EU General Data Protection Regulation

Regulators in Poland have opened a case against OpenAI, according to an official announcement published on Sept. 20.

Poland’s Personal Data Protection Office said that it is considering a complaint in which an individual objected to aspects of OpenAI’s popular ChatGPT app.

In the relevant complaint, the individual user alleged that OpenAI handles data in an  “unlawful and unreliable manner” and without transparency. Specifically, the complainant said that ChatGPT answered a query by generating false information about him and complained that OpenAI did not correct that response upon request.

Furthermore, the individual complained that he is unable to determine what parts of his personal data have been processed by ChatGPT. The complainant also said that OpenAI provided “evasive, misleading and internally contradictory answers” and generally lacks transparency regarding its data processing principles.

Supposedly, OpenAI should have met all data obligations and informed the complainant that it had collected his data when it began to process said data in 2021.

If those complaints are substantive, OpenAI’s shortcomings could violate the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules, which guarantee data privacy.

The Personal Data Protection Office acknowledged that the case will be challenging for two reasons: first, because OpenAI is not located in the EU, and second, because the complaint concerns newly-developed AI technology.

Several regulators are scrutinizing OpenAI

The recent popularity of ChatGPT has led to numerous other investigations and actions against OpenAI, especially in the European Union (EU).

Italy banned ChatGPT briefly in April but soon allowed the service to resume operations as the service adapted to requirements later that month. Also around that time, France reported receiving two complaints about OpenAI, while Spain asked EU privacy regulators to look into privacy concerns regarding ChatGPT.

Reports from April suggested that German regulators had begun to investigate OpenAI as well, though those investigations were limited to a single state in the country.

Outside of the EU, Japanese regulators warned the company against collecting sensitive personal data in violation of laws in June. Several Canadian regulators additionally launched an investigation into OpenAI and ChatGPT in May.

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