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Character AI is exploding in popularity, but you’re probably wondering what’s the deal with Character AI privacy.
It’s important to understand how our data is tracked and saved on platforms like ChatGPT.
Character AI is no different, with many users taking advantage of complex AI characters for companionship, mental health, and creative outlets.
Related: Character AI Tips & Tricks
I will also let you know about some steps you can take to safeguard your privacy and maintain anonymity.
Let’s get into it!
Why Care About Character AI Privacy?
Character AI hosts millions of AI chatbot conversations.
Most users have a little fun experimenting with AI before moving on from the platform.
But there is a growing number of users that create and chat with Character AI bots for companionship, mental health, and creative writing.
Related: What Data Does ChatGPT Track?
The quality of Character AI’s models sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish the AI from a human.
Often, users will share personal information or intimate details about their lives.
Character AI is clear that messages you enter into chats may be monitored.
I completely understand why the company needs to monitor content on the platform to protect user safety and comply with the law.
But we have seen even the largest companies are vulnerable to data breaches.
Character AI Leak Concerns
If data, including your conversation history or identity, are leaked, this information could be used to blackmail you or lead to negative academic or work-related repercussions.
There are a handful of examples of user data leaks in the last couple of years.
Related: Can AI Be Hacked?
Most relevant is when OpenAI’s ChatGPT suffered a data breach in March 2023 that exposed user information and payment details due to a bug in an open-source library.
ChatGPT was found to be using a vulnerable component that could allow attackers to obtain secret keys and passwords.
Even crazier was that several people reported seeing other users’ chat histories appearing in their dashboards.
And this isn’t just limited to ChatGPT.
Here are several more examples of data security incidents at major organizations.
|Company||Data Breach Incident|
|A staggering 200 million Twitter user profiles were traded on the dark web, revealing a massive privacy breach.|
|Meta||Settling at $725 million, Meta faced the consequences of sharing user data with third parties without permission.|
|Pizza Hut/KFC||Yum! Brands’ fast food subsidiaries alerted customers to a ransomware attack that exposed their personal data.|
|MSI||Money Message, a new cybercriminal group, breached MSI’s security, stealing 1.5TB of data and demanding $4 million.|
|Western Digital||Unauthorized access to Western Digital’s cloud systems caused a data breach, affecting many product users.|
|ChatGPT||A vulnerability in ChatGPT’s open-source library led to the leakage of customers’ personal and credit card data.|
- Information users provide when they create an account or communicate with Character AI.
- Technical Information gathered automatically, such as IP addresses, browser types, device information, and usage information.
Personal Information is used to provide and manage access to services, improve and maintain the services, inform users about features, respond to inquiries, analyze user interactions, and comply with legal obligations.
This implies that the service tracks user conversations to some extent to ensure compliance with their content guidelines.
Does this mean Character AI reads all your messages?
Well, it’s not that simple.
Can Character AI See Your Chats?
Yes, Character AI can see your chats.
In Character AI’s FAQ, the only mention of privacy is in relation to whether character creators can see conversations.
However, this appears to reference user-generated characters on the platform rather than those created by Character AI’s developers.
Types of Potential Character AI Data Tracking
Character AI might track data on an aggregated or anonymous level to maintain a balance between user privacy and the platform’s functionality.
Aggregated data refers to the process of combining individual data points into a larger dataset so that they can be analyzed for trends and insights.
This means that while the platform might monitor individual conversations, the data is mixed with other users’ data in such a way that it is no longer personally identifiable.
This method is common practice among software companies.
It allows Character AI to gain insights into user behavior, improve its AI models, and maintain the quality of the platform without compromising user privacy.
On the other hand, anonymous data refers to data that can’t be traced back to any specific individual.
In this case, Character AI might remove personally identifiable information from the tracked data, ensuring that user privacy is preserved while still allowing the platform to analyze user interactions for improvement and compliance purposes.
Either way, it appears that Character AI is trying to strike a balance between protecting privacy and ensuring a safe user experience.
Why Does Character AI Track User Data?
There are a few reasons why Character AI needs to track user data.
First, the company may be reasonable for the content on its platform to a certain extent. This means Character AI needs to monitor and block anything that is potentially illegal.
Additionally, Character AI must also make judgments around the ethical content of chats on the platform. For instance, many Redditors have expressed extreme discontent around Character AI’s policy to restrict forms of suggestive NSFW content.
Second, AI models rely on data to improve. By leveraging user’s conversation data, Character AI can make improvements to the quality and accuracy of its models.
Character AI currently has a star rating system that provides RLHF, or Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback.
This way the platform can adjust to provide better chat experiences.
Lastly, Character AI stores user chat histories so that they can resume prior conversations. This is a quality-of-life feature that I’m sure many users appreciate.
But storing this data does expose a potential security risk around data breaches that I touched on earlier.
How To Protect Your Privacy On Character AI
To maintain privacy during your conversations on Character AI, consider the following tips:
- Avoid sharing personal information: Refrain from sharing sensitive or personally identifiable information about yourself and others during any conversations.
- Use generic terms or aliases: If discussing sensitive topics like personal life details or work-related information, consider using generic terms or aliases to maintain confidentiality.
- Create a separate account: Use a dedicated Gmail account or temporary email that you can always access to create your Character AI account.
- Use a VPN: Turn on a VPN when using Character AI to add an additional layer of anonymity.
While there are several reasons some folks might be looking for a Character AI alternative, it’s certainly possible to use the platform in a manner that safeguards your privacy.
Just keep these tips in mind and be smart about what you share!
And if you’re not cool about Character AI’s privacy practices, check out my post on Character AI alternatives.
Does Character.AI save your chats?
Yes, your chat history is saved so that you can resume prior conversations. Character AI does not disclose how much or how long they store user data.
Is Character.AI safe?
For most users, Character AI is safe to use. However, for those concerned about privacy, they should take additional steps to remain anonymous, like registering with a different email address or using a VPN.
It’s also possible that some user-created characters may be offensive or triggering to users with certain mental health conditions.
Are the conversations with characters private?
It’s safe to assume that your conversations are not private. While character creators cannot see user conversations, Character AI’s developers may be able to access chat logs for moderation purposes.
Does Character.AI allow NSFW content?
Character AI appears to allow some NSFW topics, but many users have suggested that an increasing number of terms and topics are being restricted.