Irish data watchdog blocks Google from launching Bard in the EU: Report

The European Union has reportedly prevented Google’s generative artificial intelligence (AI) service, Bard, from being launched due to worries about privacy, as per the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC).

Google had planned to launch its product, Bard, in the European Union during the week of June 13th, but, as Politico reports, those plans have been put on hold. This comes after the product was released earlier this year in the United States, United Kingdom, and 178 other countries.

According to the report, DPC deputy commissioner Graham Doyle revealed that Google had only recently notified the commission of its plan to introduce Bard in the European Union this week.

Doyle went on to explain that Google had not given the commission “any detailed briefing, a data protection impact assessment or any supporting documentation.” Consequently, he stated, “Bard will not be launching this week.”

The UK will be given preferential or first access to Artificial Intelligence (AI) models from Google and OpenAI.

The EU’s regulation of AI has been regarded as much more stringent than those in the U.K. and the U.S.

Wojciech Wiewiórowski, the European data protection supervisor, once joked that “European legislation with American enforcement is akin to hell” after OpenAI’s ChatGPT was recently prohibited in Italy due to privacy worries.

Google appears to be in a similar predicament with European Union regulators. It is noteworthy that OpenAI responded to the privacy worries of the regulators, which eventually led to ChatGPT being accepted in Italy.

The impetus for increased oversight of AI technologies in the EU comes from the EU AI Act, a draft of regulations for AI in the European Union that was submitted in May 2023.

The creators of the document aim to make the governance of AI technologies compatible with the General Data Protection Regulation, a far-reaching set of regulations designed to safeguard individuals’ privacy.

The EU’s AI Act appears to have much stricter requirements for companies operating within the EU than those in the U.K. or U.S., with a greater attention to security, privacy, and accountability, much in the same way as the Markets in Crypto-Assets legislation.

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