Occurred: February 2023
AI chatbot Replika was banned from processing user data in Italy due to the risks it could pose to minors and emotionally vulnerable people.
In February 2023, Italy's privacy regulator ordered Replika to stop processing Italians' data on the basis that it lacked a proper legal basis for processing children’s data under the EU’s GDPR, and that it posed risks to minors.
'Recent media reports along with tests the SA [supervisory authority] carried out on ‘Replika’ showed that the app carries factual risks to children — first and foremost, the fact that they are served replies which are absolutely inappropriate to their age,' it added.
Replika subsequently removed the ability for the chatbot to engage in NSFW talk, triggering a backlash from long-term users.
Developer: Luka Inc
Purpose: Provide companionship
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Safety; Privacy
Il Garante per la protezione dei dati personali (Feb 2023). Provvedimento del 2 febbraio 2023
Il Garante per la protezione dei dati personali (Feb 2023). Artificial intelligence: italian SA clamps down on ‘Replika’ chatbot
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Published: November 2023