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AIItaly Imposes First Privacy Fine on City for AI-Related Breaches

Italy Imposes First Privacy Fine on City for AI-Related Breaches

The city of Trento in Italy has been fined €50,000 ($54,225) by the country’s privacy watchdog, the GPDP, for violating data protection rules related to the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) in street surveillance projects. The GPDP has instructed Trento to delete all data collected in two EU-funded AI projects.

This marks the first instance of a local administration in Italy facing such sanctions over AI data use. The GPDP, known for its proactive stance on AI compliance, had previously banned the chatbot ChatGPT in Italy and raised concerns about a facial recognition system tested by the Italian Interior Ministry in 2021.

The latest fine and directive come after an in-depth investigation into the AI projects implemented by the city of Trento. The GPDP found “multiple violations of privacy regulations” during its assessment, although it acknowledged that the municipality had acted in good faith. The primary issues identified included the insufficient anonymity of the collected data and its incorrect sharing with third parties.

The city of Trento is considering an appeal, emphasizing the inadequacy of current legislation to regulate AI use for large-scale data analysis and city security enhancement.

In December 2023, lawmakers and governments in the European Union reached provisional agreements on regulations for AI systems, bringing them a step closer to establishing comprehensive rules governing the technology. A key point of contention in these discussions has been the use of AI in biometric surveillance, reflecting the broader global conversation around responsible AI deployment.

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