Replika shares user data with advertisers

Occurred: May 2023

AI chatbot Replika makes little effort to protect its users' privacy, according to a research study.

According to a May 2023 Mozilla Foundation assessment of mental health apps, Replika is one of the worst apps Mozilla has ever reviewed', and 'a hot mess of privacy and creepiness'. 

The bot is 'plagued by weak password requirements, sharing of personal data with advertisers, and recording of personal photos, videos, and voice and text messages consumers shared with the chatbot,' Mozilla found.

And, despite its privacy notice saying it would never share user conversations with advertisers, their behavioural data is 'definitely' being shared and 'possibly sold' to advertisers, the researchers warned.

Developer: Luka Inc/Replika
Country: Global
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Provide companionship
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Privacy
Transparency: Governance; Marketing

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