Google Bard
Google Bard AI might not arrive in the EU and Canada, here's why. Pexels

While Google Bard is available in 180 countries, Canada and Europe are still on the waiting list for the American tech giant's AI chatbot. Google announced a myriad of awe-inspiring updates for its Bard at the recently concluded I/O developer conference.

The event also marked a major expansion for Google Bard, which saw limited release in the beginning. The word on the street is that the chatbot is still unavailable in the European Union (EU) countries and Canada due to strict privacy laws.

Aside from this, there are some concerns surrounding the potential misuse of the AI bot. Now, the American tech company has hinted at a possible reason for not including Canada and Europe in the list of supported markets in a response to Android Authority.

A Google spokesperson revealed in an emailed response that Bard will support 40 top languages in the coming days. However, the company hasn't finalised the launch timeline for the expansion plans. Nevertheless, the spokesperson noted that Google will expand "gradually and responsibly" and will continue to be a helpful and "engaged partner to regulators."

The report suggests this is a major sign that Bard's availability is restricted in the EU and Canada due to regulatory concerns. AI tools like Bard and ChatGPT have already seen regulatory hurdles. To recap, Italy banned ChatGPT citing concerns over privacy issues last month. Similarly, Samsung banned the use of AI tools over security concerns.

Also, Canadian lawmakers have recently come up with legislation that aims at regulating AI. The AIDA (Artificial Intelligence and Data Act) demands transparency, assessments, data anonymization, risk management, monitoring, and record-keeping practices for AI systems. Moreover, AIDA is prepping to add penalties of $10 million or up to 3 per cent of the company's global revenue. Google is understandably not willing to pay hefty fines.

GDPR could hinder the development of AI tools

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) alludes to a Regulation in EU law that allows individuals to control their personal data. The privacy law instructs companies to acquire explicit consent from users before collecting or using their data. As a result, Google will not be able to collect or use the data it needs to run the Bard AI in the EU.

It is worth noting that AI systems need a lot of data to function. So, the strict guidelines set by the GDPR on the usage, storage, and collection of data could hinder the development of AI systems like Bard.

Concerns about AI misuse

Google could be restricting Bard's availability in the EU and Canada due to concerns about its potential misuse. In its report, the European Commission highlighted the risks and opportunities that AI offers. Moreover, the report warns that people's behavior can be manipulated with AI.

Also, AI systems can come in handy for spreading disinformation. With AI getting advanced, it is imperative to introduce ethical guidelines and regulations. The EU has left no stone unturned in a bid to address these concerns. In line with this, it has introduced rules surrounding AI tools like Google Bard.

According to a report by GizChina, Bard's future in Canada and the EU depends on the approach Google adopts. For example, the company could try to resolve these concerns before Bard arrives in these regions. Alternatively, Google might decide not to offer Bard in the aforesaid regions due to these challenges.


It looks like AI companies will be facing issues when it comes to offering their AI services globally. It will be challenging for these companies to comply with the rules while constantly innovating their AI services. So, it will be interesting to see whether these companies can manage to provide AI services without flouting security and trust.

Tech firms can achieve this if they prioritise data privacy and do not overlook ethical guidelines. In the meantime, the future of Google Bard in Canada and the EU remains uncertain.