Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) service, Bard, is experiencing setbacks in its planned launch within the European Union (EU) after failing to meet the minimum data protection requirements imposed by regulators.
The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) compelled Google to postpone its EU launch after the company did not provide sufficient notice to the regulator and failed to present a detailed briefing or a data protection impact assessment, according to Politico. DPC Deputy Commissioner Graham Doyle revealed that Bard’s launch in the EU is on hold until Google provides comprehensive information regarding its compliance with the region’s data protection rules. The DPC also indicated its intention to share this information with other EU data agencies.
Doyle stated, “The DPC has since sought this information as a matter of urgency and has raised a number of additional data protection questions with Google to which it awaits a response, and Bard will not now launch this week.”
Although Bard has been successfully introduced in the U.K., U.S., and numerous other countries following the popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, its expansion into the EU has encountered significant challenges. Google faces the daunting task of navigating stringent data protection regulations and a reputation for rigorous enforcement in the region.
In response to the situation, Google highlighted its commitment to responsible deployment, stating, “We said in May that we wanted to make Bard more widely available, including in the EU, and that we would do so responsibly, after engagement with experts, regulators, and policymakers.” The company acknowledged ongoing conversations with privacy regulators to address concerns and gather feedback.
Despite the EU’s stringent privacy regulations, the region aims to enhance its existing frameworks with the proposed EU AI Act. This legislative proposal seeks to align AI regulations with the already established General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Bard’s competitor, ChatGPT, has previously faced criticism, resulting in a temporary ban in Italy, along with investigations launched by several countries into the platform. As Google faces regulatory challenges, it remains committed to addressing data protection concerns and engaging with regulators to ensure compliance with EU regulations as it seeks to introduce Bard to the European market.