Italy’s data protection agency set Microsoft-backed OpenAI a deadline of end-April to meet its requirements around user privacy, in order to allow generative AI platform ChatGPT to resume service in the country.

Italy made a major move at the start of this month when it became the first nation in the west to issue a ban on the increasingly popular ChatGPT, while initiating a probe into alleged breaches of Europe’s strict privacy rules.

In its complaint, regulator Garante claimed the platform had breached rules around data by allowing users to view titles of conversations other users were having with the chatbot.

Regulations state OpenAI will face a fine of €20 million or 4 per cent of global revenues if it did not provide a solution.

According to Reuters, Garante has laid out a set of concrete demands which, if met by the end of the month, will result in ChatGPT access being restored in Italy.

It however did not reveal what it wants OpenAI to do.

Italy is one of many countries grappling with the impact of rising use of AI. The US this week issued a request for comment on whether there needs to be accountability measures and policies in place for the use of AI, while the UK has set out plans on the responsible use of the technology.

Leading figures in the technology industry, including Twitter CEO Elon Musk, have also warned about the rapid development of AI, in light of recent advancements made by Microsoft and Google to integrate the technology into consumer products.