EU Blocks Google Bard’s Arrival In France

The European data protection authority is not convinced by the documents provided by Google. According to Politico, the EU has decided to block the web giant from launching Bard, its AI competitor to ChatGPT, until further notice.
“Google recently informed the Data Protection Commission of its intention to launch Bard in the EU this week. In an article published on June 13, 2023, Politico quotes Assistant Commissioner Graham Doyle on Google Bard’s arrival in Europe, which should have taken place between June 12 and 16.

“Bard won’t launch this week,” the official claims, citing privacy concerns. Europe criticizes Google for “having had no detailed presentation or seen any document on the evolution of data protection at this stage”.

For Google, the European Union is a problem

In May 2023, after several weeks of testing in the United States, Google proudly announced its intention to make Bard available for free in 180 countries, without having to register for a beta program. By exploring the list of countries concerned, everyone quickly realized one thing: none of these 180 countries are part of the European Union. Google had confirmed that this was a regulatory issue, but said it wanted to do things well before entering the European market.

A month later, Google seems trapped. The web giant thought it could get away with it easily, since its rival ChatGPT is available in Europe, but the European authority in charge of data regulation is firm. Without formal guarantees on the protection of Europeans’ data, Bard will not be authorized in Europe. All this comes at a time when the EU is asking questions about the right way to frame artificial intelligence. Italy managed to get OpenAI to have a “private browsing” mode that doesn’t transfer questions from ChatGPT users.

As a reminder, Google Bard is one of the solutions offered by Google to compete with OpenAI and its conversational agent ChatGPT. Accessible with a VPN, Google Bard can chat with its users and synthesize information much more accurately than Google Assistant. However, Google Bard is not the only proposal from the web giant, then Google is testing many generative AIs, including one directly integrated into its search engine, which will transform the way we search for things on the Internet.

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