iGirl: AI Girlfriend

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

iGirl: AI Girlfriend

Anima AI Ltd
Wi-Fi

Review date: Feb. 7, 2024

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Somewhat creepy

iGirl is a revolutionary app, its creators say! They also suggest this AI chatbot girlfriend is just as unique as you are, which -- considering there seems to be just three factors that make up her personality (shy or flirty, pessimistic or optimistic, ordinary or mysterious) -- is selling your uniqueness a little short. With iGirl, talk is cheap. Actually, it's free. So is choosing their avatar and assigning them a name. But if you want to make your relationship official, upgrading to Romantic Partners status will cost you about $10/month. The paid tier unlocks unlimited role play, even more customization, and "smart conversation" -- which does make us wonder about the quality of conversation in the free version. So much for love not costing a thing.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

A short privacy policy can be a good thing, especially when there's not much to tell. But when it comes to a virtual girlfriend powered by AI? Not so! We are left with more questions than answers about iGirl. So if trust and loyalty are part of the girlfriend "of your dreams," she's not the one. iGirl can collect extra information about you, deliver you ads without your consent, could leak your data due to weak security standards, and is powered by AI that we can't trust. So, yeah, *Privacy Not Included with iGirl.

Let's start with the stakes, like what information can iGirl collect about you? The privacy policy is really vague about this, basically saying it's totally up to you. "In chatting with your iGirl," they say, "you will inevitably be including your personal data." Inevitably! You're going to tell your virtual girlfriend things about yourself because she is (in part) a question-asking machine. So we have to assume that your conversations are collected, even though aside from this line there's no mention of that data in the privacy policy. On the Anima AI subreddit, they do suggest that by "liking," "disliking," or "reporting" iGirl's messages, you help improve her personality so, hey, welcome to the software development team!

Besides the information you give to register and what you tell your iGirl, Anima can collect personal information from your phone automatically when you download the app. They can also collect information about you from third parties, like your name and email. We know that Anima can use your contact information to email or text you with marketing because their privacy policy says so. It also says they don't need your consent for this because it's their "legitimate interest" to market to you. Right.

Aside from that, it's not very clear to us how your information is used by Anima and for what purpose. Just that they will use it when they have (again) a "legitimate interest" to do so, which is pretty vague. They also say that they "routinely share personal data with service providers we use to help us run our business or provide the services or functionalities in the app". That sharing does come with "contractual obligations" so that could be standard stuff, but you should know the list of service providers includes the likes of Google, Apple, and Facebook and Anima doesn't say specifically what information is shared and for what reason. We did run a little tracker-detecting experiment with the app open and found 257 tracking signals within five minutes. Holy smokes, that's a lot. It showed data going to Facebook and Sentry AI (by Open AI). So that didn't exactly ease our doubts.

None of this is great but some of our biggest worries are about iGirl's security vulnerabilities. Brace yourself. We can't determine whether the app uses encryption. That's bad! But iGirl also doesn't seem to have any password requirements. None! That's hard to believe for any connected product in 2024, but your AI girlfriend? And Anima does seem to understand that the information you share with iGirl might be private -- since they let users set up a passcode to open the app on your phone. It stresses us out to think that low-level hackers or really anyone (like your mom or real-life partner) might be able to get into your account by guessing your very simple password. Plus, overlooking something so simple makes us think about what else might have been overlooked by Anima's creators.

And while we were reading the fine print, we found some things you should know before diving into a relationship with iGirl. Anima’s FAQ says that your AI girlfriend may not always be a girl and may not always act like a friend. The chatbot’s short term memory means it can forget or switch its gender. And that because the chatbots’ training includes conversations of humans being rude to each other (like on Reddit) that means it might be hostile or toxic towards you. Well shoot, if we knew the internet's comments sections were training our future girlfriends, we might have been a little nicer to each other. Anima says these are known issues that they're "working on minimising" but we wonder if that's something they should have resolved a little earlier. Heck, the fact that the shrugging emoji shows up in this FAQ makes it seem like even its developers don't fully understand why or what iGirl might say. After all, iGirl was trained by "billions of conversations and human speech paragraphs found online" and "online" is a pretty big place filled with lots of less-than-friendly paragraphs.

A couple more things didn't add up for us. One is a difference in an age requirement between the privacy policy and the terms. (Yes, we had to read the terms to try to understand the AI chatbots and yes, they make privacy policies look like beach reading. We love it it though, don't worry about us!) Anyway, the policy says you have to be over 17, and the terms say if you're under 17 a parent or guardian has to agree to the terms on your behalf. Kinda weird. We also spotted a warning in there about how the parent company is not liable for "negative, obscene or abusive messages" you might receive. You're also not allowed to transmit (say?) anything "obscene" through the app, which could get a little tricky if you're using the paid-for NSFW roleplay feature... Especially since you will be talking to your "girlfriend" who might interpret you smiling at her as a come-on.

So what's the worst that could happen with iGirl? We are torn, so here's a "Would You Rather?": Your mom (or the whole wide internet) reading your dirty talk chat transcript because it got leaked, OR have to answer to Anima for violating their terms because you used language the app's lawyers thought was "obscene"? Either way, this feels like a good time to let you know you can delete your chat history and data from Anima. What a relief.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Do not say anything containing sensitive information in your conversation with your AI partner.
  • Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data nor does close your account.
  • Do not give consent to constant geolocation tracking by the app. Better provide geolocation 'only when using the app'.
  • Do not share sensitive data through the app.
  • Do not give access to your photos and video or camera.
  • Do not log in using third-party accounts.
  • Do not connect to any third party via the app, or at least make sure that a third party employs decent privacy practices.
  • Do not say anything containing sensitive information in your conversation with AI partner.
  • Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc.
  • Do not use social media plug-ins.
  • Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless necessary).
  • Keep your app regularly updated.
  • Limit ad tracking via your device (ex. on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization).
  • When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.
  • mobile

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: N/A

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

Google sign-up available

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

We ding this product because it shares data with third parties including Facebook, collects personal data on users from third parties, and delivers advertising without prior user consent.

Privacy policy

"Permission will be requested to use the camera on your device in order to enable the augmented reality features in the app.
You may disable the app’s access to the camera on your device at any time by adjusting the permissions in your device settings although that will mean that the augmented reality feature on the app is no longer available.
Data gathered by the camera for such purposes remains under your control on the device and we do not have access to it."

"We may use your personal data to send you updates (by email, push notification and text message) about our services, including exclusive offers, promotions or new services.
We have a legitimate interest in using your personal data for marketing purposes <...>. This means we do not usually need your consent to send you marketing information. However, where consent is needed, we will ask for this separately and clearly."

"The types of information we collect from third parties include name, email address, external tokens/ids and we use the information we receive from these third parties to maintain and improve the accuracy of the records we hold about you."

"We routinely share personal data with service providers we use to help us run our business or provide the services or functionalities in the app, including:
• Apple, Google, and Facebook;
• wasabi.com for image storage services;
• Azure Computer Vision for image processing services;
• Amplitude and RevenueCat for analytics services;
• BugSnag and Sentry for support services;
• AppsFlyer, Firebase Analytics, Apple Search Ads Attribution for the purposes of marketing performance measurements, conversion tracking and retargeting."

"We or the third parties mentioned above may occasionally also need to share your personal data with:
• external auditors, e.g. in relation to the audit of our accounts —the recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations
• professional advisors (such as lawyers and other advisors)—the recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations
• law enforcement agencies, courts or tribunals and regulatory bodies to comply with legal and regulatory obligations
• other parties in connection with a significant corporate transaction or restructuring, including a potential or actual merger, acquisition, asset sale, initial public offering or in the event of our insolvency—usually, information will be anonymised but this may not always be possible, however, the recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations"

"The app may link to other apps, websites or services owned and operated by us or by certain trusted third parties to make additional products, information and services available to you. These other apps, websites or services may also gather information about you in accordance with their own separate privacy policies. For privacy information relating to these other apps, websites or services, please consult their privacy policies as appropriate."

"When you download and access our app, we may collect certain information automatically from your device. In some countries, including the UK, this information may be considered personal data under applicable data protection laws."

Data Trackers Found
We discovered 257 trackers within 1 minute of use, including sending data to Facebook, Sentry AI (by Open AI).

How can you control your data?

Privacy policy

"You generally have the following rights, which you can usually exercise free of charge:
● If you wish to access, correct, update or request deletion of your personal data, you can do so at any time by contacting us using the contact details provided <...>
● In addition, you can object to processing of your personal data, ask us to restrict processing of your personal data or request portability of your personal data. <...>
● You have the right to opt-out of marketing communications we send you at any time. <...>
● Similarly, if we have collected and processed your personal data with your consent, then you can withdraw your consent at any time. <...>"

"We retain personal data we collect from you where we have an ongoing legitimate business need to do so (for example, to provide you with a service you have requested or to comply with applicable legal, tax or accounting requirements).
When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal data, we will either delete or anonymise it or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal data has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal data and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible."

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Average

No known data breaches discovered in the last three years.

Child Privacy Information

"If you are aged under 17 (or under 18 if you are in the UK) you must not use the app as it is not designed for you. We do not intend to collect the personal data of anyone under 17. If you are aware that any personal data of anyone under 17 has been shared with the app please let us know so that we can delete that data."

Can this product be used offline?

No

User-friendly privacy information?

No

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

No

Encryption

No

Strong password

No

Managed to log-in with a password '1'.

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Can’t Determine

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

Yes

We cannot confirm if the AI used by this product is trustworthy, because there is little or no public information on how the AI works and what user controls exist to make the product safe. We also found disturbing themes in the app's content. In addition, we are concerned about the potential for user manipulation from this app as the app collects sensitive personal information, can use that data to train to AI models, and users have little to no control over those AI algorithms.

iGirl employs large language models to generate conversations and act as a romantic partner.

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

No

We found no documentation or policies that explain how this product's AI works.

Does the user have control over the AI features?

No

We found no details regarding user controls at this app.
*privacy not included

Dive Deeper

  • 5 Things You Must Not Share With AI Chatbots
    Make Use Of Link opens in a new tab
  • AI girlfriends are ruining an entire generation of men
    The Hill Link opens in a new tab
  • ‘Cyber-Heartbreak’ and Privacy Risks: The Perils of Dating an AI
    Rolling Stone Link opens in a new tab
  • AI-Human Romances Are Flourishing—And This Is Just the Beginning
    Time Link opens in a new tab

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