Google launches Bard chatbot in Europe

Company has resolved concerns raised by DPC, but ongoing process will see a three-month review

Google is launching its chatbot Bard across Europe, after resolving a number of privacy concerns raised by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

The artificial intelligence will now be available in most of the world, and in more than 40 languages, marking the largest expansion for the chatbot to date, with the company also adding a number of new features to coincide with its expansion.

Deputy commissioner at the DPC Graham Doyle said Google had made a number of changes to Bard ahead of its official EU launch. Google’s European headquarters are based in Dublin, putting it under the Irish data watchdog’s remit.

Among those changes. Google said, are clear notices for users about how data is being used and stored. Users can also choose not to allow reviews of conversations, a measure that Google undertakes to improve Bard.


“Google informed the DPC in May of this year of its intention to launch Bard in the EU in June. We issued a detailed set of questions to Google at that point seeking information and clarifications and Google paused the launch,” he said. “In the meantime, as a result of our engagement, Google have made a number of changes, in particular increased transparency and changes to controls for users.”

However, this will be an ongoing process. Mr Doyle said the watchdog would be continuing its engagement with Google in relation to Bard post-launch. “Google have agreed to carrying out a review and providing a report to the DPC after three months of Bard becoming operational in the EU,” he said. “In addition, the European Data Protection Board set up a taskforce earlier this year, of which we are a member, which will look at a wide variety of issues in this space.”

The new features for Google’s chatbot, which is going head to head with Open AI for users globally, include the ability to adjust the tone of Bard’s responses, create audio responses and the integration of Google Lens into Bard.

“As part of our bold and responsible approach to AI, we’ve proactively engaged with experts, policymakers and privacy regulators on this expansion,” said Bard’s product lead Jack Krawczyk. “As we bring Bard to more regions and languages over time, we’ll continue to use our AI principles as a guide, incorporate user feedback, and take steps to protect people’s privacy and data.”

The updates will allow users to listen to Bard’s responses, adjusting the tone and style to more professional or casual, or opt for longer responses if needed. Google has also added the ability to pin and rename conversations so users can easily revisit them, and share Bard’s responses via links.

Google has also integrated Google Lens capabilities into Bard, allowing the chatbot to analyse images and provide information on

Code created in Bard can also be exported to Replit, in addition to Google Colab.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist