Here is the latest update Mental Health, Prayer Apps Have Serious Privacy, Security Issues says Mozilla Researchers. According to a thorough investigation by Mozilla researchers, mental health and prayer apps have failed to protect their users’ privacy and data protection.
According to the researchers, 29 out of 32 major mental health and prayer apps, such as Talkspace, Better Health, and Calm, have expressed serious concerns about user privacy and data management. In addition, up to 25 apps failed to meet basic security requirements, such as requiring strong passwords and handling security upgrades and vulnerabilities.
The latest version of Mozilla’s ‘*Privacy Not Included’ guide includes a list of apps that do not adhere to proper privacy and security procedures. The researchers spent 255 hours researching the mental health and prayer applications, including over eight hours per product and discovered that the vast majority of them are “exceptionally invasive” and lack privacy features.
What do More Mozilla Researchers say about the Prayer Apps?
In a prepared statement, Jen Caltrider, Mozilla’s ‘*Privacy Not Included’ Lead, said, “Turns out, studying mental health applications is bad for your mental health since it demonstrates how careless and craven these firms can be with our most intimate personal information.” “They monitor, share, and profit on users’ most private thoughts and feelings, such as moods, mental states, and physiological data.”
During the initial phase of COVID19, users from all around the world placed a lot of emphasis on mental health and prayer apps. Anxiety, sadness, domestic violence, and suicide ideation are among the topics addressed by these apps.
Despite dealing with some of the most sensitive subjects, Mozilla’s researchers discovered that most mental health and prayer applications utilize weak passwords, target vulnerable users with customized adverts, and have confusing and poorly worded privacy policies.
The researchers chose apps with features such as artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots, community support pages, and prayers, as well as mood journals and wellbeing assessments.”They can function as data-sucking robots disguised as mental health apps in some circumstances.
To put it another way, a wolf dressed as a sheep “Mozilla Researcher Misha Rykov, who worked on the guide, said: Six apps stood up as the worst offenders among all the apps analyzed for the study. Better Help, Youper, Woebot, Better Stop Suicide, Pray.com, and Talkspace are among the resources available.
While Better Help and Better Stop Suicide have “very ambiguous and chaotic” privacy practices, the researchers discovered that Youper, Pray.com, and Woebot were exchanging personal information with third parties.
Talkspace was also discovered to be storing chat transcripts of user interactions with experts. Most of the companies behind these apps, according to Mozilla, were “very inattentive” and did not respond to at least three emails outlining the problems. According to the researchers, just one company, Hallow, which is a Catholic prayer app, reacted promptly, while Calm and Wysa only answered after a third email was sent to them.