Markets News Report
October 06, 2023

Snapchat’s ‘My AI’ Chatbot Faces Legal Action in UK Over Child Data Privacy Concerns

In Brief

Snap, the company behind Snapchat, is facing regulatory scrutiny in the UK as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) expresses concerns about the privacy risks associated with its generative AI chatbot ‘My AI.’

The ICO has issued a preliminary enforcement notice, alleging that Snap may not have adequately assessed the privacy implications, especially for children, before launching the chatbot.

UK Regulator Takes Action Against Snapchat's AI Chatbot Over Privacy Concerns

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, is currently under regulatory scrutiny due to concerns about privacy risks associated with its generative AI chatbot ‘My AI.’

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a preliminary enforcement notice in response to these concerns. If a final notice is issued by the ICO, Snap’s data processing activities related to the chatbot may come to a halt. The ICO alleges that Snap may not have properly assessed the privacy implications for users, especially children, prior to launching ‘My AI.’  

“The assessment of data protection risk is particularly important in this context which involves the use of innovative technology and the processing of personal data of 13 to 17 year old children,”

the statement read.

Information Commissioner John Edwards expressed worry over Snap’s failure to identify and address these risks. 

“We have been clear that organizations must consider the risks associated with AI, alongside the benefits. Today’s preliminary enforcement notice shows we will take action in order to protect UK consumers’ privacy rights,”

Edwards said.

However, Snap asserts that its chatbot underwent a comprehensive legal and privacy review process before its public release.

The ICO’s decision could potentially impact Snap’s data processing activities associated with the chatbot, raising questions about the future of AI-driven features within social media platforms.

In February 2023, Snap introduced the ‘My AI’ feature to UK Snapchat+ subscribers, expanding it to all UK Snapchat users in April 2023. By May 2023, Snapchat boasted 21 million monthly active users in the UK.

‘My AI’ has been instrumental in Snap’s revenue diversification, offering tailored ads to users and leveraging OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology, making it the first major messaging platform with such a generative AI tool available in the UK.

Just as Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, faces regulatory scrutiny over its AI chatbot, another regulatory battle is brewing on a parallel front. Ofcom, the UK’s media regulator, has urged the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate the overwhelming control of the UK cloud market by American tech giants Amazon and Microsoft. These developments highlight a growing trend of regulatory actions aimed at reigning in the influence of major technology players in various sectors, raising pivotal questions about the balance between innovation and consumer protection.

Disclaimer

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About The Author

Agne is a journalist who covers the latest trends and developments in the metaverse, AI, and Web3 industries for the Metaverse Post. Her passion for storytelling has led her to conduct numerous interviews with experts in these fields, always seeking to uncover exciting and engaging stories. Agne holds a Bachelor’s degree in literature and has an extensive background in writing about a wide range of topics including travel, art, and culture. She has also volunteered as an editor for the animal rights organization, where she helped raise awareness about animal welfare issues. Contact her on [email protected].

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Agne Cimerman
Agne Cimerman

Agne is a journalist who covers the latest trends and developments in the metaverse, AI, and Web3 industries for the Metaverse Post. Her passion for storytelling has led her to conduct numerous interviews with experts in these fields, always seeking to uncover exciting and engaging stories. Agne holds a Bachelor’s degree in literature and has an extensive background in writing about a wide range of topics including travel, art, and culture. She has also volunteered as an editor for the animal rights organization, where she helped raise awareness about animal welfare issues. Contact her on [email protected].

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