At the end of March, Italy’s privacy watchdog announced a ban on the popular AI-powered chat application ChatGPT, developed by American tech company OpenAI, citing alleged privacy violations.
Following the request of Italy’s privacy regulator, OpenAI blocked access to ChatGPT from all Italian IP addresses, effectively barring Italian users from the service.
As of now, other European Union member countries have not banned ChatGPT, leaving Italian users wondering how they can continue using the application. The answer? Purchasing a VPN and selecting a server in a neighboring country, which allows them to access ChatGPT with a non-Italian IP address.
Google search trends reveal that, typically, Italian users search for VPNs at an index of around 20. However, on April 1st, the day OpenAI blocked Italian IP addresses, the VPN search index skyrocketed to 100, representing a growth rate of 400%.
The search trend has since dropped to around 50, suggesting that Italian users who cannot part with ChatGPT have likely resumed access through VPNs.
It is worth noting that other European countries, including Germany, France, and Ireland, are closely monitoring the situation. If these nations follow Italy’s lead and ban ChatGPT, there is no doubt that VPN providers will emerge as the ultimate winners.