Warnung: *Datenschutz ist in diesem Produkt nicht inbegriffen



Überprüft am: 25. April 2023


Mozillas Meinung

Abstimmungsergebnis: Extrem unheimlich

"You deserve to be happy." Yes, you do deserve to be happy! BetterHelp thinks they can help you with that if you use their online service to connect with a therapist. Download the app, complete the intake questionnaire, pay up, and boom, BetterHelp says they will match you with a therapist right for you. Then they say you get unlimited messaging with your therapist through chat, phone, or video. Unlimited! All this sounds good, just know that BetterHelp has a bit of a spotty record with things like actually providing the services they promised. And they got in some hot water when they used social media and YouTube influencers to promote their product in ways people found icky. Top that off with a questionable brand partnership they formed following the tragedy at the Travis Scott concert in 2021 where people died and BetterHelp may or may not leave you feeling happy. Oh, and their privacy and security practices seem rather questionable too. US regulatory agency the Federal Trade Commission even confirmed that in 2023.

Was könnte passieren, wenn etwas schiefgeht?

First reviewed April 20, 2022. Review updated, April 25, 2023

BetterHelp has gotten worse since we reviewed them in 2022, which is concerning because their privacy practices seemed pretty bad to us last year. The biggest flag we about BetterHelp since our last review is that they had a pretty serious enforcement action launched against them by the US regulator agency the Federal Trade Commission, announced in March, 2023. The FTC stated, "At several points in the signup process, BetterHelp promised consumers that it would not use or disclose their personal health data except for limited purposes, such as to provide counseling services. Despite these promises, BetterHelp used and revealed consumers’ email addresses, IP addresses, and health questionnaire information to Facebook, Snapchat, Criteo, and Pinterest for advertising purposes, according to the FTC’s complaint." The results of this enforcement action are a $7.8 million settlement paid to consumers and a ban on Betterhelp "sharing consumers’ health data, including sensitive information about mental health challenges, for advertising."

This is all very bad. But the crackdown by the US regulator body is a very good trend we like to see. We hope this will lead other mental health app companies with questionable data sharing practice to feel pressure and change for the better.

Other than this FTC enforcement action, BetterHelp earns all three of our privacy dings this year -- for sharing data for advertising purposes, for not being clear if all users have the same rights to delete their data regardless of the privacy laws the live under, and for having a bad track record of protecting and respecting their users' sensitive personal information. Last year we felt BetterHelp was bad. This year we have further proof they are a company that most certainly earns our *Privacy Not Included warning label.

Read our 2022 review:

BetterHelp could do better at protecting your privacy. Where to start? First, we here at *Privacy Not Included read privacy policies for a living. We've seen many and have a sense for what makes a good privacy policy and what worries us in privacy policies. We found BetterHelp's privacy policy short and missing information we wanted to see made clear. BetterHelp doesn’t specifically state in their privacy policy that they don’t sell user data, which is something we like to see stated clearly. Also, their short privacy policy doesn't mention important information like if and how they collect location data, how long they retain users' data, and how users can access or delete this data. This is another big flag for us. BetterHelp also uses the word "may" a whole lot in their short privacy policy, which as someone who reads privacy policies can tell you, usually means they want to give themselves a lot of wiggle room in how they use your personal information. So many red flags so far.

But wait, there's more! BetterHelp does collect a whole lot of personal information, from the responses to their intake questionnaire (like are you feeling depressed or anxious or are you struggling to maintain relationships), to things like name, age, email address, and phone number. They also say they can use data they collect on you for personalization, product offerings relevant to your individual interests, and targeted ads. And they say they can share some data with a number of third parties including advertisers (boo!), and with any subsidiaries or parent companies within their corporate group (which includes Pride Counseling, Teen Counseling, and Faith Counseling). Remember, every time your data is shared, the potential for data leaks or breaches grows.

And according to this 2020 article by Jezebel, BetterHelp shares metadata from every message, though not its contents, with Facebook. This means that Facebook could know what time of day a user was going to therapy, their approximate location, and how long they were chatting on the app. Yup, red flag.

Is there more that worries us? Why, yes, there is. BetterHelp says they collect, use, and store communications between users and counselors on their platform. They do say they encrypt messages between you and your therapist on the platform, which is good. We were unable to confirm if BetterHelp has a system in place to manage security vulnerabilities on their app, which raises a flag for us about their overall security practices. We emailed their listed privacy contact to ask some questions about BetterHelp's privacy practices and received no response to our questions, so we're not sure if users can expect a timely response from that listed contact.

BetterHelp is a popular mental health platform right now in 2022. They are pouring millions of dollars into advertising to grow their user base. They have a number of concerning privacy and security practices that we and others have reported like sending data to Facebook and sharing data widely with third parties. What's the worst that could happen? Unfortunately, we're afraid a lot could go wrong based on what we learned in our research. That's why we've currently labeled this product *Privacy Not Included.

Tipps zu Ihrem Schutz

  • Do NOT connect the app to your Facebook, Google, or other social media accounts or third-party tools, and do not share medical data when connected to those account.
  • Click the "Shared" button next to each message you've sent if you want it to no longer show in your account.
  • Do not sign up with third-party accounts. Better just log in with email and strong password.
  • Choose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
  • Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless neccessary)
  • Keep your app regularly updated
  • Limit ad tracking via your device (e.g. on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization)
  • Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data.
  • When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.
  • mobile

Kann es mich ausspionieren? Information


Gerät: Nicht verfügbar

App: Ja


Gerät: Nicht verfügbar

App: Ja

Verfolgt den Standort

Gerät: Nicht verfügbar

App: Nein

Was kann zur Registrierung verwendet werden?

Welche Daten sammelt das Unternehmen?

Wie nutzt das Unternehmen die Daten?

We ding this product for using personal information for marketing and advertisement.

"In order to reach people who may be looking for mental health support, we advertise on some Third-Party web properties (for example, Third-Party websites and apps). In order to minimize advertising costs related to this process and downstream costs to you, we strive to deliver ads that are relevant, interesting, and personal."

"To be clear, we don’t share any data or information you share with your therapist with any Third-Party advertisers. Even if you opt-in to targeting cookies and web beacons, we still don’t share information with Third-Party advertisers like member names, email addresses, phone numbers, clinician diagnosis, questionnaires answers, sessions data, journal entries, messages, worksheets, or any other type of private communication you have with your therapist on the Platform."

Some practices of Betterhelp may be considered a 'sale' under CCPA. "We aren’t paid by anyone for any data. However, in California, the laws define “sale” broadly to include the sharing of personal information in exchange for anything of value. If you opt in to our use of targeting cookies and web beacons, this use may be considered a “sale” of personal information under that specific California law. For specific information on your data rights as a resident of California, see the additional notice for California residents."

"Provided you opt-in and agree, we may Process and share some data with Third Parties for advertising purposes." - the opt-in ask for consent is not clear nor direct.

"When an account is created with the Platform, the user fills out a questionnaire. We Process the information used to complete this questionnaire. Some of this information may include identifiers like email address, phone number, chosen name (first name or nickname), and physical address."

Due to the use of cookies and web beacons, information regarding your activity on their websites, excluding activity when you are logged in and have started therapy, may be disclosed to advertising partners to optimize marketing.

Betterhelp representatives told us in email that they "do not share member data with or buy data from data resellers/data marketplaces/data brokers."

Wie können Sie Ihre Daten kontrollieren?

We ding this product as it is unclear if all users regardless of location can get their data deleted.

The retention details are unclear. "Please note that if you’ve started therapy, we may retain some of your data for an extended period based on applicable data retention laws."

"To receive a summary copy of your data, please log in to your account and go to Menu > My Account (or Account settings) > My Personal information, where you will see an option to request a copy of your data. The data you will receive as part of this request includes the contact information that you input on the site, questionnaire answers, worksheet entries, emergency contact information, messages you sent to your therapist, journal entries that you created, and other personal data.

Additional data which we maintain includes email interactions with our help desk, which is stored on your email system. You may also request this information by writing to [email protected].

Please visit our opt-out instructions page to request to delete the above data or opt out of BetterHelp services. Some data will be maintained as allowed by law or required by our retention policy.

You may reach out to us at [email protected] if you need additional help. We will only comply with a request for deletion of your data if we can verify your identity. There is usually no charge. In exceptional circumstances, we may charge a reasonable fee after discussing the fee with you."

Wie ist das Unternehmen in der Vergangenheit mit den Daten über seine Verbraucher umgegangen?


In March 2023, BetterHelp got in trouble with FTC for sharing health data it had promised to keep private — including information about mental health challenges — with companies including Facebook and Snapchat. BetterHelp said the settlement (which included a payment of $7.8M) was not an admission of wrongdoing and that the behavior for which it was sanctioned is standard for the industry.

In 2021, the Economist shared the report of one user that "When I first joined BetterHelp, I started to see targeted ads with words that I had used on the app to describe my personal experiences.”

In October 2018, BetterHelp gained attention from media personalities after concerns were raised about alleged use of unfair pricing, bad experiences with the app, paid reviews from actors, and terms of service that allegedly did not correspond with ads promoted by professional YouTubers.

Informationen zum Datenschutz bei Kindern

"We don’t knowingly collect or solicit any data or information from anyone under the age of 13 or knowingly allow such persons to become our users. The Platform is not directed at and not intended to be used by children under the age of 13. If you’re aware that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13 please let us know by contacting us, and we’ll delete that information."

Kann dieses Produkt offline genutzt werden?


Benutzerfreundliche Informationen zum Datenschutz?


Links zu Datenschutzinformationen

Erfüllt dieses Produkt unsere Mindestsicherheitsstandards? Information




"All the messages between you and your therapist are encrypted by 256-bit encryption."

Sicheres Passwort




Umgang mit Schwachstellen


The company representative shared with us that "in addition to daily automated vulnerability scans and an invite only bug bounty program managed by Bugcrowd, the Member Success team has been instructed to refer Security Researchers to email us directly at [email protected]. If their disclosure has merit, we’ll have them added to the Bugcrowd team so it can be processed through channels and they can be rewarded for that and any subsequent bugs they may find."



Verwendet das Produkt KI? Information


"BetterHelp uses Machine Learning to process users’ responses to the intake questionnaire and limited additional data, such as therapist schedules and member time zone, to match a user with a therapist. We do not use generative AI or large langauge models like Chat-GPT."

Ist diese KI nicht vertrauenswürdig?

Nicht zu bestimmen

Welche Entscheidungen trifft die KI über Sie oder für Sie?

Gibt das Unternehmen transparent an, wie die KI funktioniert?

Nicht zu bestimmen

Hat der Benutzer die Kontrolle über die KI-Funktionen?


"The user controls whether they complete the intake questionnaire. They also control their individual answers. Several of the intake questions do not require a response, and others allow the user to answer “other” or “prefer not to say.” "Before users start the intake questionnaire, we explain that we use their answers to help match them with a potentially suitable therapist. We also provide information about therapist-member matching in our privacy policy."
*Datenschutz nicht inbegriffen

Tauchen Sie tiefer ein

  • Mozilla Statement on FTC, BetterHelp Settlement
    Privacy Not Included Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • FTC reaches deal with online therapy company over data misuse claims
    Politico Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • FTC bans BetterHelp from sharing consumer data with advertisers, issues $7.8M fine
    Healthcare Drive Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • ‘Shut it off immediately’: The health industry responds to data privacy crackdown
    Politico Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • BetterHelp shared customer data while promising it was private, says FTC
    The Verge Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • BetterHelp Online Therapy Review 2023
    Forbes Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • Mental health app privacy language opens up holes for user data
    The Verge Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • 'Creepy' Mental Health And Prayer Apps Are Sharing Your Personal Data
    Forbes Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • Mental health and prayer apps have some of the worst privacy protections, study claims, finding they 'track, share and capitalize' on users intimate thoughts and feelings
    Daily Mail Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • FTC to Ban BetterHelp from Revealing Consumers’ Data, Including Sensitive Mental Health Information, to Facebook and Others for Targeted Advertising
    FTC Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • Do Therapy Apps Really Protect Your Privacy?
    Life Hacker Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • ‘We don’t think this is a healthy therapeutic relationship’: Therapist exposes BetterHelp’s problems in viral TikTok
    Daily Dot Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • Peace of Mind...Evaluating the Privacy Practices of Mental Health Apps
    Consumer Reports Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • The Digital Standard Case Study: Mental Health Apps
    The Digital Standard Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • Mental health app privacy language opens up holes for user data
    The Verge Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • Mental Health Apps Aren't All As Private As You May Think
    Consumer Reports Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • How the BetterHelp scandal changed our perspective on influencer responsibility
    Maastricht University Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • The Spooky, Loosely Regulated World of Online Therapy
    Jezebel Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • YouTube Stars Are Being Accused of Profiting Off Fans’ Depression
    The Atlantic Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • How Effective Has BetterHelp’s Advertising Been?
    Medium Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • Here's What's Happening With Travis Scott's Free Month Of BetterHelp Therapy — And Why It's Controversial
    BuzzFeed Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet
  • Dramatic growth in mental-health apps has created a risky industry
    The Economist Link wird in einem neuen Tab geöffnet


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