Google forced to delay Bard rollout in the EU again
Google launched Bard, its answer to Microsoft's Bing Chat AI-powered service in March 2023. Bard is now available in 180 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Bard is not available in EU countries because of privacy concerns.
The Irish Data Protection Commission released a statement on Tuesday in which it claimed that Google did not provide sufficient information regarding Google's AI tool and the protection of privacy of users from the European Union.
Google has not provided the Data Protection Commission with supporting documents, detailed briefings or data protection impact assessments, according to Deputy Commissioner Graham Doyle.
The Irish regulators are waiting for Google's reply on the matter and answers to questions that the Commission has in regards to Bard and compliance with the European Union's data protection laws.
The Irish Data Protection Commission is Google's main data supervisor under the General Data Protection Regulation.
Microsoft faced similar delays when it launched its AI-tool Bing Chat at around the same time. This led to a temporary ban of the ChatGPT-powered tool in Italy and investigations by several data privacy authorities in EU member countries.
Microsoft's Bing Chat is available for users in the European Union. Google Bard continues to be blocked and it is unclear when the service will become available to users from the European Union.
Google is checking the location of the user when the Bard Internet website is opened. Users need to sign-in first before they see if Bard is available.
Users from the European Union may access Google Bard indirectly. Connecting to a VPN server that is outside a member state will open access to Google Bard. Most VPN providers operate servers in different countries. A user from the EU could connect to a UK, Canadian or United States server. Usually, connecting to a server that is close by is recommended, as it has shorter reaction times.
It is unclear at this point when Google is allowed to launch Bard in the European Union. It appears that the ball is in Google's court for now in this regard.
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