Mental Health Apps Draw New Users as Experts Call for More Oversight

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From CNBC: “In February, Jezebel reported that BetterHelp and Talkspace both shared data with third parties. BetterHelp’s data included anonymized intake forms with sensitive information about users’ mental health history, sexual orientation, and suicidal thoughts.

BetterHelp CEO Alon Matas maintains that the company’s data-sharing practices are standard for the industry. “BetterHelp is in the counseling business, not the data business,” Matas said.

Sharing data with third parties is ubiquitous across mental health apps. In 2019, when researchers examined data practices of 36 top-ranked apps for depression and smoking cessation, they found that more than 80 percent sent data to Facebook and Google — often without disclosing it in their privacy policies.”

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