Italian supervisory authority restricts personal data processing by an AI chatbot

The Italian supervisory authority, Garante, issued an urgent order against Luka Inc. (Luka), a US-based operator of the online app ‘Replika’, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, which generates a ‘virtual friend’. Garante placed a temporary restriction on Luka’s processing of the personal data of Replika’s users in Italy with immediate effect. The intervention followed a series of press reports, which showed the app to pose a risk to minors and emotionally vulnerable individuals.

The Italian authority emphasised that Replika does not disclose essential information about its processing of personal data, in particular children’s data, which stands in violation of GDPR transparency requirements.