Privacy News Your AI Girlfriend Is a Data-Harvesting Horror Show, Mozilla Warns


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Aug 17, 2017
According to a new study from Mozilla’s *Privacy Not Included project, AI girlfriends and boyfriends harvest shockingly personal information, and almost all of them sell or share the data they collect. “To be perfectly blunt, AI girlfriends and boyfriends are not your friends,” said Misha Rykov, a Mozilla Researcher, in a press statement. “Although they are marketed as something that will enhance your mental health and well-being, they specialize in delivering dependency, loneliness, and toxicity, all while prying as much data as possible from you.”

Mozilla dug into 11 different AI romance chatbots, including popular apps such as Replika, Chai, Romantic AI, EVA AI Chat Bot & Soulmate, and CrushOn.AI. Every single one earned the Privacy Not Included label, putting these chatbots among the worst categories of products Mozilla has ever reviewed. The apps mentioned in this story didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

One of the more striking findings came when Mozilla counted the trackers in these apps, little bits of code that collect data and share them with other companies for advertising and other purposes. Mozilla found the AI girlfriend apps used an average of 2,663 trackers per minute, though that number was driven up by Romantic AI, which called a whopping 24,354 trackers in just one minute of using the app.

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