Such apps have access to user data regarding their moods, mental state and biometric data.
Researchers at Mozilla have discovered, through analysis, that mental health apps fare poorly on users’ privacy protection as compared to other types of apps. Poor privacy standards were also observed with regards to prayer apps.
For the analysis, 32 mental health and prayer apps were analysed. Most of these were found to have poor security practices wherein the apps allowed the creation of weak passwords. For 29 of the 32 apps, the researchers tagged a “privacy not included” label to indicate their concern about the apps’ management of user data.
Mozilla identified Better Help, Youper, Woebot, Better Stop Suicide, Pray.com and Talkspace as the apps with the “worst practices.” Where Talkspace was found collecting chat transcripts, Woebot collects user information from third parties and shares user information for ad purposes.
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[3 minute read]