Mental Health Apps Sharing Health Data Without Disclosure or Consent

A study shows that “92 percent of 36 mental health apps shared data with at least one third party — mostly services that help with marketing, advertising, or data analytics.” “About half of those apps did not disclose that third-party data sharing, for a few different reasons: nine apps didn’t have a privacy policy at all; five apps did but didn’t say the data would be shared this way; and three apps actively said that this kind of data sharing wouldn’t happen.” While some of this information is not immediately identifying, that could soon change. “We live in an age where, with enough breadcrumbs, it’s possible to reidentify people” says John Torous, director of digital psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “Advertisers could use this to compromise someone’s privacy … For example, if an advertiser discovers someone is trying to quit smoking … would they be interested in…

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