BetterHelp Privacy Harm

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BetterHelp Privacy Harm
Short Title BetterHelp Privacy Harm
Location BetterHelp: an online mental health service
Date March 3rd, 2023

Solove Harm Aggregation, Surveillance
Information Behavioral, Medical and Health, Some personal info, Public Life
Threat Actors BetterHelp

Affected Users in need of mental health services
High Risk Groups Consumers
Tangible Harms Change of Behavior, Change of feelings or perception, Embarrassment, Loss of Trust

BetterHelp sold user's personal information to advertising companies.


Popular online therapist site, "BetterHelp" had to pay $7.8 million after improperly selling user data to companies such as Facebook and Snapchat. The company prompted users with an unskippable questionnaire regarding personal feelings and behaviors. Their privacy statements claimed the information wouldn't be shared, but the claims were then changed to share the information to advertisers, as well as users' email addresses, so Facebook could link their information to their profiles, even going as far as targeting their Facebook friends list and referring them to the service.

Laws and Regulations

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

Sources online counseling betterhelp