Snap into (ICO) action
Snap, Inc. and Snap Group Limited ("Snap") have received a preliminary enforcement notice from the Information Commissioner's Office ("ICO") over their potential failure to assess the privacy risks associated with the 'My AI' chatbot. This notice came after an investigation revealing that Snap may not have adequately identified and assessed the risks to millions of 'My AI' users in the UK, including children aged 13 to 17.
In February 2023, 'My AI' was introduced to UK Snapchat+ subscribers and expanded to all UK Snapchat users in April 2023. The chatbot uses advanced AI technology from OpenAI, and accrued 21 million monthly users in the UK by May 2023.
The ICO's investigation highlighted shortcomings in Snap's risk assessment process before the launch of 'My AI,' particularly concerning data protection risks posed to children aged 13-17, given the innovative technology involved.
However, it's important to note that the ICO's findings are provisional, and no definitive conclusions regarding data protection law breaches have been made at this stage. Snap has the opportunity to respond to the preliminary notice, and the ICO will consider their representations before making a final decision.
The outcome of this case will be closely monitored as it has implications not only for Snap but also for the broader use of AI technologies and data protection in the UK.