Talkie Soulful AI

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Talkie Soulful AI

Review date: Feb. 7, 2024

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Somewhat creepy

Talkie Soulful AI is an AI chatbot that lets you "craft your AI buddy from scratch" with an AI that "goes beyond conversation, capturing and sharing moments through pictures with a unique visual flair" so you can "create cherished memories you can relive anytime." We're not really sure about all that, but we do know that we found some pretty sketchy content on Talkie Soulful AI. You'll have to pay about $10 a month to access all the "diverse AI personas" Talkie has to offer. How about your privacy, should you trust Talkie with that? Yeah, that's probably not a good idea at all.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Talkie Soulful AI calls their app a "self-help program." Which, given how much and how easily we were able to find some pretty disturbing content right from the search function in their app, we're really concerned about this app claiming it's there for "self-help." This might not be a privacy issue exactly, but it is a reoccurring issue we found with many of the AI relationship chatbots we reviewed. We found too many apps that positioned themselves as self-help, wellness, or mental health AI chatbot apps that contained tons of icky, sketchy, and sometimes downright scary content (think rape, abuse, and underage themes). Just be careful out there!

On the privacy front, Talkie Soulful AI worries us a lot. They say they can sell and share you personal information for targeted advertising purposes. That's not good. They do say they won't use the contents of your messages through the app for targeted advertising, which is good. Talkie's privacy policy indicates that not all users have the same rights to have their data deleted if they want to. That's also not good. And we couldn't confirm if Talkie meets our Minimum Security Standards. All of this leads us to warn users that Talkie could come with *Privacy Not Included.

And then there are our questions and concerns about Talkie Soulful AI's AI models. While it is good that Talkie says they won't use the content of your messages with their AI chatbots for targeted advertising purposes, we couldn't find any very clear mentions of how they can use the content of those messages to train their AIs. They do say they can aggregate, anonymize, and de-identify your messages, content, interests, and preferences to analyze trends in the use of Talkie's services. This is pretty common, however, our concern hear lies with how well the de-identify and anonymize all that personal information you share about yourself. We always worry about this as it's been found to be relatively easy to re-identify de-identified personal information so just beware before you overshare too many personal details with your favorite AI chatbot (on any service or platform, not just Talkie's).

There's also this link in Talkie Soulful AI's Terms of Service that seems to grant them pretty broad permissions to use the content you submit through their app, "By uploading any User Content, you hereby grant and will grant Talkie and its affiliated companies a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, fully paid- up, transferable, sublicensable, perpetual, irrevocable license to copy, display, upload, perform, distribute, store, modify, and otherwise use your User Content in connection with the operation of the Services or the promotion, advertising, or marketing thereof in any form, medium, or technology now known or later developed." Yeah, lines like that were pretty common in the Terms of Service we read for AI relationship chatbots. And yeah, they feel pretty broad and worrisome to us.

Finally, we found no way for users to control or understand how the AI chatbots they interact with on Talkie's app work. This worries us because if you don't know how the AI chatbot works or have any control of it, then what's to prevent it from developing a relationship with you and then become abusive or manipulative? This is a concern we have with all AI chatbots and why we want to see more transparency and user-control in them. Shoot, even Talkie admits in their Terms of Service that, "The Services are based on rapidly evolving fields of AI and machine learning. You acknowledge that our outputs may contain inaccuracies or errors. You are responsible for evaluating the accuracy of outputs for your use case." So, basically, trust nothing and assume nothing when interacting with your "self-help" Talkie AI chatbot.

What's the worst that could happen with Talkie Soulful AI? We're really worried that an app that bills itself as a "self-help program" contains so much easily accessible, disturbing content. If some lonely soul downloaded Talkie Soulful AI looking for a friend to help them feel better and instead ended up talking with harmful AI chatbots that made them feel worse, lots of bad things could go wrong. We do worry about the potential impact AI models with so little transparency, control, and potential for harmful content could have on vulnerable users mental or physical health. Apps that bill themselves as "self-help programs" should absolutely do better.

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: No

Microphone

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: N/A

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

Google or Apple sign-up available (on Android and iOS respectively).

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

We ding this product for 'selling' personal data and sharing it with third parties for targeted advertisement.

Privacy Policy

"We share information about visitors to our Website, such as the links you click, pages you visit, IP address, advertising ID, and browser type with advertising companies for interest-based advertising and other marketing purposes. Sharing this information allows us and our advertising partners to target and serve advertising to you and others. We will never share your Talkie conversations or any photos or other content you provide within the Apps with our advertising partners or use such information for marketing or advertising purposes."

"We share your information with companies and individuals that provide services on our behalf or help us operate the Services or our business (such as hosting, information technology, customer support, email delivery, and website analytics services). We also share information with companies that provide marketing services on our behalf, but we do not share the content of your Talkie conversations for marketing or advertising purposes. For example, we may share your email address with marketing service providers to deliver our marketing emails to you on our behalf and to help us identify other individuals who may be interested in our Services. We require these marketing service providers to agree not to use your email address for any other purpose."

"We share information with third-party advertising partners and allow them to collect information about your visit to our Website using cookies and other tracking technologies to display targeted advertising around the web as described in the "How we share your information" section above. Our disclosure of information to these partners maybe considered a "sale" or "sharing" of personal information or "targeted advertising" under applicable laws. You can opt out of these disclosures and limit our use of tracking technologies."

"Why and how we use your information: Providing you a personalized AI companion and allowing you to personalize your profile, interests, and AI companion. Enabling you to have individualized and safe conversations and interactions with your AI companion, and allowing your AI companion to learn from your interactions to improve your conversations. Syncing your Talkie history across the devices you use to access the Services."

"We may share information with law enforcement, and government authorities, as we believe in good faith to be necessary or appropriate for the legal compliance and protection purposes "

"While we use reasonable commercial efforts to protect the data, no technology, data transmission, or system can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. In the event of a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to your data, we will notify you as soon as we spot the issue."

"We use your information for the following purposes: ...
Analyzing trends in the use of the Services... Why and how we use your information: Aggregating, anonymizing, and deidentifying. Analyzing the use and effectiveness of our Services. Improving and adding features to our Services. Developing our business and marketing strategies. (iii) Categories of information: Account information. Profile information. Messages and content. Interests and preferences. Payments, transactions, and rewards. Device and network data. Usage data."

Terms of Service

"Talkie offers [a self-help program based on communication with your personal chatbot through a text and voice interface.]"

"By uploading any User Content, you hereby grant and will grant Talkie and its affiliated companies a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, fully paid- up, transferable, sublicensable, perpetual, irrevocable license to copy, display, upload, perform, distribute, store, modify, and otherwise use your User Content in connection with the operation of the Services or the promotion, advertising, or marketing thereof in any form, medium, or technology now known or later developed."

"The Services are based on rapidly evolving fields of AI and machine learning. You acknowledge that our outputs may contain inaccuracies or errors. You are responsible for evaluating the accuracy of outputs for your use case."

Data Trackers Found
Transfers data to China and India, among other countries.
We discovered 223 trackers within 1 minute of use, including sending data to Applovin (marketing tracker), Doubleclick (marketing tracker), Facebook, Easemob (Chinese company).

How can you control your data?

We cannot confirm if all users regardless of location can get their data deleted.

Privacy policy

"We will retain your personal information for only as long as necessary to fulfill the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. To determine the appropriate retention period for personal information, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal information, the potential risk of harm from unauthorized use or disclosure of your personal information, the purposes for which we process your personal information and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements."

"You may opt out of marketing-related emails and other communications by following the opt-out or unsubscribe instructions in the communications you receive from us or by contacting us as provided in the "Contact us" section below. . <...>

Opt-out of selling personal information and sharing for targeted advertising
We share information with third-party advertising partners and allow them to collect information about your visit to our Website using cookies and other tracking technologies to display targeted advertising around the web as described in the "How we share your information" section above. Our disclosure of information to these partners maybe considered a "sale" or "sharing" of personal information or "targeted advertising" under applicable laws. You can opt out of these disclosures and limit our use of tracking technologies.

Personal information requests
We also offer you choices that affect how we handle the personal information that we control. Depending on your location and the nature of your interactions with our Services, you may request the following in relation to personal information:
<...>
d. Deletion of personal information that we no longer need to provide the Services or for other
lawful purposes. You can delete your account in your account settings.
<...>
In some instances, your choices may be limited, such as where fulfilling your request would impair the rights of others, our ability to provide a service you have requested, or our ability to comply with our legal obligations and enforce our legal rights."

Terms of Service

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

Privacy Policy
"The Services are not intended for individuals under the age of 16. If we discover that minors under the age of 16 are using the Apps, we will promptly block their access and delete their account. If you have reason to believe that a minor under the age of 18 has provided personal information to us through the Services, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases."

Terms of Service
"These Services do not address anyone under the age of 16. If you are above 16 but under 18, you must have your parent or legal guardian's permission to use the Services."

Can this product be used offline?

No

User-friendly privacy information?

No

The Talkie Privacy Policy was formatted in an odd manner and while not the most complicated privacy policy we've ever read, it still was not user-friendly.

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Unknown

Encryption

Yes

"All transmitted data are encrypted during transmission. All stored data are maintained on secure servers. Access to stored data is protected by multi-layered security controls, including firewalls, role-based access controls, and passwords."

Strong password

N/A

Only Google or Apple sign-up is available.

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.

Talkie generates different AI personas to talk with.

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 Talkie works.

Does the user have control over the AI features?

No

We found no details regarding user controls at Talkie. At the same time, the chatbots of Talkie AI includes themes of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse, and other disturbing content.
*privacy not included

Dive Deeper

  • 5 Things You Must Not Share With AI Chatbots
    Make Use Of 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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