OpenAI's video service faces EU data protection probe

Sora boasts the ability to swiftly produce videos up to one minute long
The image shows OpenAI logo. — Freepik
The image shows OpenAI logo. — Freepik

Italy's data protection authority is heightening its examination of OpenAI, this time due to concerns about the company's latest AI video creation tool potentially handling personal data. This marks the second inquiry by the Italian watchdog into OpenAI's practices, following an ongoing investigation into potential data breaches by the company's well-known ChatGPT tool.

The Italian regulator is now exerting additional pressure on OpenAI, demanding within a 20-day timeframe detailed information about their newly unveiled AI service named Sora. 

Sora boasts the ability to swiftly produce videos up to one minute long. This request stems from the potential ramifications the Sora service might have on the handling of personal data within the European Union, especially in Italy. The regulator is seeking clarity on whether this new AI model is currently available to the public and if it's being or will be offered to users in the EU, particularly in Italy.

Read more: Sam Altman rejoins OpenAI board amid unresolved mystery of his firing

OpenAI, headquartered in San Francisco and backed by Microsoft, is part of a growing trend where tech giants like Google’s parent company Alphabet are integrating AI to enhance their products.

Last month, OpenAI launched an online platform allowing users to share personalised versions of its popular ChatGPT chatbot, following a delayed release due to last year's internal leadership changes. This new platform, introduced first to paid ChatGPT users, is designed as a hub for chatbots tailored for diverse functions, such as educating children in mathematics or generating imaginative cocktail recipes. 

Named the GPT Store, it showcases publicly shared chatbots and plans to eventually enable creators to monetise their inventions, similar to the models used by Apple and Google’s app stores.

OpenAI's GPT Store also features a user-friendly interface, displaying trending and popular chatbots on a leaderboard and categorising them for easy searching. Despite OpenAI revealing that 3 million custom chatbots have been created, it's unclear how many were available in the store at its inception.

The launch of the GPT Store is part of OpenAI's broader strategy to expand its suite of services and explore new revenue streams. In a parallel development, OpenAI announced a new, more affordable ChatGPT subscription tier targeted at smaller teams, priced at approximately $25 per month per user. This comes after the introduction of a corporate version of ChatGPT with enhanced features and privacy protections in August.