(Bloomberg) -- Italian privacy regulators said Friday that they launched a probe on OpenAI Inc. concerning its ChatGPT tool and techniques used to gather users’ personal data. 

The country’s data protection authority in a statement cited a lack of a legal basis to justify pooling and storing user data to train the algorithms used on ChatGPT. The regulator temporarily suspended data gathering on the platform, which Italian users can’t currently access. It also noted its concerns on a lack of filters to assure that users are over 13 years old. 

The Rome-based watchdog gave OpenAI 20 days to respond, after which it could be subject to a fine of as much as €20 million ($22 million) or up to 4% of its annual revenue. 

Read more: OpenAI Targeted in FTC Complaint Urging Halt of GPT Rollouts 

OpenAI’s popular tool ChatGPT has spurred excitement as well as controversy in recent months. A prominent US tech ethics group filed a complaint on Thursday with the US Federal Trade Commission urging the regulator to halt further commercial deployment of new generations of artificial intelligence technology that powers ChatGPT.

San Francisco-based OpenAI is backed by Microsoft Corp., which along with Alphabet Inc.’s Google has been using artificial intelligence to enhance their products. 

A representative for Microsoft wasn’t immediately available for comment.

--With assistance from Daniele Lepido.

(Updates with more details in second paragraph)

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