Google delays rollout of AI chatbot Bard in Europe

Google delays rollout of AI chatbot Bard in Europe

Google will delay the rollout of its AI chatbot Bard in the EU. This is due to concerns it has over the stance of the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), a key regulator around GDPR.

Google had wanted to introduce the service in the EU this week, Politico writes. According to the Irish privacy regulator, the EU regulator responsible due to Google’s European headquarters being located in Dublin, the request to introduce Bard is unexpected. In a statement to Politico, a spokesperson says the regulator was only recently informed of the intention to introduce the generative AI service in the EU this week.

Multiple questions

Google allegedly did not give the regulator enough information before the planned date. For example, the DPC still has several questions about data protection. Google has not yet answered these, so the introduction will not take place this week at least, the regulator indicates.

It is not known what questions the DPC has for Google. Given the experience of other European regulators around OpenAI’s competitor ChatGPT, these could include (compliance) questions about transparency with the GDPR, how developers deal with disinformation, how safety for children is achieved and what data rights EU residents have.

When the tech giant will get the green light to introduce Bard is not known. According to the DPC, the two sides are in talks. Google responds that it has known since May 2023 that the tech giant wants to expand access to Bard and is in talks with relevant authorities about it.

Read more: Why isn’t Bard coming to Europe (yet)?