On 2 February 2023, the Italian Data Protection Authority issued Decision No. 39 (the “Decision”) against Luka Inc., a US company developing “Replika”. Replika is an AI-powered chatbot which generates a “virtual friend” using text and video interfaces. The Authority found, in particular, that Replika was not equipped with an age verification mechanism, a gating mechanism for children which blocks the app if users declares that they are underage. Replika merely requests a user’s name, email account and gender to open an account.
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