Many mental health apps are failing to protect the privacy and security of their users, according to an investigation by Mozilla. The study reviewed 27 mental health, meditation, and prayer apps, including Calm, Youper, and Headspace, and found that 22 were labelled as having “privacy not included” due to concerns about personal data. Replika: My AI Friend received the most scrutiny and was labelled “perhaps the worst app we’ve ever reviewed.” Regulators in Italy effectively banned the chatbot over privacy concerns. BetterHelp was highlighted for improperly sharing sensitive data with advertisers, while some apps, including Youper, made improvements. Mozilla claims the market for mental health apps has grown by around $1 billion since 2022.
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