Google has been forced to postpone the launch of its AI chatbot, Bard, in the European Union (EU) due to concerns over privacy. The Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC), the primary regulatory body overseeing data in the EU, has demanded more information from Google regarding how the generative AI chatbot safeguards privacy before granting approval for its launch.

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The launch of Bard in the EU has been halted as the IDPC has not received a comprehensive privacy briefing, data impact assessment, or supporting info from Google. Graham Doyle, Deputy Commissioner of the IDPC, stated that the commission is currently conducting an ongoing examination of Bard, without providing an estimated timeline for its completion. The IDPC intends to share relevant information with other EU data regulators as soon as possible.

Google initially opened up access to Bard in March, allowing interested users to sign up for a waiting list. In May, the waitlist was removed, and availability was expanded to 180 additional countries and territories. Notably, the EU was excluded from the list of supported markets, likely due to the strict requirements set by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governing data collection and sharing.

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The specific concerns raised by the IDPC regarding Bard have not been disclosed. However, data protection authorities have previously highlighted issues related to the legal basis for data processing, transparency requirements, AI-generated disinformation, child safety, and users' data access rights.