For its ‘Privacy Not Included’ guide, Mozilla analyzed 32 mental health and prayer applications. They found that this type of application has worryingly poor protection of user privacy.
Mental health and prayer apps have poorer privacy protections than most other types of apps, a Mozilla study found.
“The vast majority of mental health and prayer apps are terribly creepy. They monitor, share and exploit the most intimate personal thoughts and feelings of users, such as mood, mental state, and biometric data”
said the head of Mozilla’s Privacy Not Included Guide, Jen Caltrider.
Mozilla analyzed 32 apps for mental health and prayer, of which as many as 29 were labeled “privacy not included”. This, therefore, indicates that the company’s researchers are concerned about the way such applications manage user data.
These applications are said to collect large amounts of personal information in accordance with unclear privacy policies, although they are designed for “tricky” issues, such as the mental state of users. Most apps also had poor security practices, so they allowed users to create profiles with weak passwords.
According to Mozilla, the apps with the worst privacy protection are – Better Help, Youper, Woebot, Better Stop Suicide, Pray.com, and Talkspace. For example, Woebot is said to share user data for advertising purposes, while Talkspace collects transcripts of user chat, reports The Verge.
“These apps work like a data vacuum cleaner with a glaze mental health app. In other words: a wolf in sheep’s clothing “, concluded Misha Rykov, Mozilla’s researcher.