Mental Health Apps Found to Have Bad User Protections

According to Mozilla's 'Privacy Not Included' report

Mozilla has updated its Privacy Not Included buyer's guide to reveal that a wide variety of mental health apps have pretty bad user privacy protection.

Out of 32 apps examined, 27 were given a 'Privacy Not Included' warning label. Apps flagged with this label have failed to meet Mozilla's minimum security standards, like allowing weak passwords and mismanaging vulnerabilities. The guide also informs you if these apps collect user data.

Woman in mental anguish

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Apps hit with Mozilla's seal of disapproval include BetterHelp, MindDoc, and even some Christianity-related apps like Pray.com. Clicking on an entry gives you detailed information on what Mozilla found wrong with the app.

For example, in BetterHelp's profile, you'll see all the problems Mozilla found with the service, including a short privacy policy with a lot of missing information. The app also collects a lot of user data (name, age, phone number, questionnaire responses), which they can share with advertisers and other companies within their group.

Not all profiles are the same, as each app has its own problems. Mindshift CBT, for example, doesn't sell user data but does have weak encryption making said data vulnerable. But they all share the same three review sections; Privacy, Security, and AI.

Man online therapy

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One of the better-rated apps is PTSD Coach, which was found not to collect personal information, and any data collected is anonymous with a clear privacy policy.

However, since the entries are open to user input, the list may change to include new poorly rated apps.

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