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FameEX Hot Topics | UK Data Watchdog Issues Warning to Snapchat Regarding AI Chatbot Risks

2023-10-07 15:41:58

Snapchat has received a warning from the United Kingdom's data watchdog concerning its new artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, "My AI," as reported in an update by the regulator. On October 6, the U.K. Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) issued a preliminary notice to Snap Inc. and Snap Group, Snapchat's parent companies. The notice was prompted by concerns that Snapchat may have failed to adequately assess the privacy risks associated with the chatbot.

The ICO's preliminary enforcement notice followed a provisional investigation into the company's actions. The watchdog found that Snapchat had not sufficiently identified the privacy risks to the several million My AI users, including children aged 13 to 17, before launching the chatbot. John Edwards, the U.K.'s information commissioner, emphasized the importance of considering the risks associated with AI, stating, "Today's preliminary enforcement notice shows we will take action in order to protect U.K. consumers' privacy rights."

The notice outlines potential consequences for Snapchat. If a final enforcement notice is issued, Snap may be required to halt data processing related to My AI. This would prevent the company from offering the service to U.K.-based users until an "adequate" risk assessment is conducted. However, it's important to note that the current stage of investigations does not imply guilt.

Snapchat introduced its AI chatbot to Snapchat+ users in the U.K. in February 2023, with broader availability starting in April 2023. My AI is powered by OpenAI's GPT-4 technology and is described by the data watchdog as the "first example of generative AI embedded into a major messaging platform in the UK." A spokesperson from Snap stated that the company is closely reviewing the ICO's provisional notice and is committed to safeguarding user privacy. They mentioned that My AI underwent a rigorous legal and privacy review process before becoming publicly available and that they are collaborating with the ICO to ensure the regulator is comfortable with their risk assessment procedures.

Throughout the year, major social media platforms have increasingly integrated AI features into their operations. On October 4, LinkedIn, the business-focused social media platform owned by Microsoft, announced additional AI tools for recruiters and introduced an AI assistant in its learning center. Additionally, tech giants like Meta (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram) and Google have revealed AI chatbot integrations in their service offerings, highlighting the growing role of AI in the digital landscape.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is for informational purposes only, doesn't represent any investment advice or FameEX's official view.

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