British regulator may ban chatbot AI Snapchat

Photo: Afghan National Police

Snapchat risks a ban on its chatbot My AI in the UK. The feature, which works with artificial intelligence (AI), poses a risk to minors, according to Britain’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office.

If the video and photo app’s parent company, Snap, does not step in to address the regulator’s concerns, the regulator may ban My AI. “The preliminary findings of our investigation point to a worrying lack of analysis Snap conducts to assess privacy risks among children and other users,” the organization wrote.

It is not yet certain that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will intervene. The agency said preliminary findings do not yet clarify whether Snap has violated UK data protection laws. Snap says it’s considering an ICO notice.

Snapchat introduced My AI in April. In the same month, the app, which is very popular among young people, announced that it would modify the functionality so that the chatbot would no longer pretend to be a real person. In conversations with Dutch users, the bot tried, among other things, to arrange appointments with children.

Last month, the Dutch Data Protection Authority said it was concerned about AI applications targeting children, as they are often unaware of the risks surrounding advanced chatbots. The Dutch privacy regulator has asked an unnamed technology company for clarification on the handling of information that users of artificial intelligence software provide about themselves.

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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