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Competition Authority launches procedure against Microsoft over chat program

The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has launched a probe into Microsoft's practices regarding the AI-based chat function of its search engine Bing.

In February, Microsoft integrated Bing Chat into the sidebar of its search engine that answers complex and specific questions while using user content, data and information in machine learning, GVH said in a statement on Tuesday.

GVH said Microsoft may have broken the law by not fully informing users about how reliable, up-to-date or well-founded its answers were.

Also under investigation is whether Microsoft provides sufficient information on data handling, GVH said, adding that consumers may not receive sufficient information on how the data they share would be used to develop the AI algorithm further or when the chat service answers other users’ queries. It is also suspected that consumers are not given the option of removing their data from the system.

After launching the procedure, GVH has three months to clarify facts and prove unlawful practices, the authority said. That term can be prolonged if necessary.

GVH is currently focusing on the market practices of big-tech companies, the statement said. Earlier this month, it launched a procedure against ChatGPT on alleged unfair practices in data handling and risk management. The probe is running simultaneously with a similar procedure by US consumer protection authority FTC, it said.

Earlier, GVH launched procedures against giants such as Google, PayPal, Viber and TikTok.

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