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UK Watchdog Raises Privacy Concerns Over Snapchat’s AI Chatbot

UK Watchdog Raises Privacy Concerns Over Snapchat's AI Chatbot
UK Watchdog Flags Privacy Concerns Over Snapchat's AI Chatbot


  • UK watchdog raises concerns about Snapchat’s AI chatbot, “My AI”, potentially endangering children’s privacy.
  • Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) emphasizes the need for a thorough privacy assessment before any enforcement action.
  • Snap could face a ban on “My AI” in the UK if privacy risks are not adequately addressed.
  • Snap asserts that “My AI” underwent rigorous legal and privacy reviews, and they are committed to cooperating with the ICO.
  • ICO investigates how “My AI” handles personal data of Snapchat’s 21 million UK users, including those aged 13-17.
  • “My AI” utilizes OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a leading example of generative AI, prompting global regulatory interest.
  • Social media platforms, including Snapchat, struggle to enforce age restrictions effectively.
  • The regulator is closely monitoring Snapchat’s efforts to remove underage users from its platform.

Snapchat’s recent AI chatbot, “My AI,” may pose potential privacy risks to children, warns the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The regulator emphasizes the need for a thorough evaluation of these risks before any final enforcement decision is made.

The ICO’s provisional findings suggest that Snap may have overlooked crucial privacy considerations, especially concerning younger users, in the launch of “My AI” back in April. However, it’s important to note that these findings don’t automatically imply a violation of British data protection laws or an imminent enforcement notice.

Snap responded by assuring they are in the process of reviewing the ICO’s notice and remain dedicated to safeguarding user privacy. According to a spokesperson, “My AI” underwent a rigorous legal and privacy review before becoming available to the public. They are also committed to working closely with the ICO to address any concerns regarding their risk assessment procedures.

The ICO is currently examining how “My AI” handles the personal data of Snapchat’s approximately 21 million UK users, including those aged 13 to 17. The chatbot relies on OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a prominent example of generative AI that policymakers worldwide are actively seeking ways to regulate due to privacy and safety concerns.

While platforms like Snapchat have age restrictions (13 and above), they have faced challenges in effectively enforcing these policies, as highlighted in a previous Reuters report from August. The regulator is closely monitoring Snapchat’s efforts to prevent underage users from accessing the platform.


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