Better Stop Suicide

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Better Stop Suicide

Review date: April 20, 2022

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Super creepy

Suicide kills over 700,000 people around the world every year and that number is likely conservative. Research has shown people are more likely to turn to tech-driven help than in-person help for suicidal thoughts, which can make suicide prevention apps a good option for intervention and treatment.

Better Stop Suicide is one of many suicide prevention apps available. The app is free and offers users access to helpful techniques such as feel-better tasks, emotional needs checks, and the ability to record your own life-saving message. The same company that makes this free suicide prevention app also makes a subscription based mental health app. Both apps have the same privacy policy, which we found pretty vague in detailing how much data is collected and how exactly all that data is used. Just last year, another suicide prevention support line got in hot water when it was reported they were sharing users' anonymized data to their for-profit company for marketing purposes. All in all, if this app will help you with suicidal thoughts, that probably outweighs our privacy concerns. However, we really would love to see an app focused on such vulnerable people commit to doing better, or at least being less vague, about protecting their users' privacy.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Holy vague and messy privacy policy Batman! Better Stop Suicide's privacy policy is bad. Like, get a failing grade from your high school English teacher bad. Take the second sentence in the privacy policy, "Contact us at if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you." Yeah, they just plain old omitted the way to contact them. We did find a contact email at the very bottom of their privacy policy and emailed them multiple times with questions about the app's privacy and security and received no response. So, that "gladly assist you" part seems like it might be a tad overstated.

Then there is the overall vagueness of the policy, which says it was last updated in 2018. They make statements like, "Data we gather | Information you have provided us with | This might be your email address, name, billing address, home address etc - mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us." That's a lot of "might", "etc", and "mainly" vagueness in one statement. But hey, it's good to know the data they gather is the information you provide them. That's helpful.

What can we deduce from their extremely vague and poorly written privacy policy? (What can we say? We like things like punctuation and clarity here at *Privacy Not Included.) Well, it does seem like Better Stop Suicide gathers a fair amount of personal information -- including name, email. home address, and IP address. They also say they gather information from "trusted partners" but we have no idea who those "trusted partners" might be as they say they link to them but then provide no link. They also say they can gather information about your from public sources.

So, what might Better Stop Suicide do with all this personal information they gather? That is pretty vague too. At one point in their privacy policy they say, "We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered." That's a pretty broad statement for how they plan to use your data that could go beyond what they do mention like providing services, communications, and potentially ads.

Their privacy policy also states, "We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised." Which is a little concerning because it's been shown to be pretty easy to de-anonymize user data. But hey, Better Stop Suicide does state in their privacy policy, "We do not share your Personal Data with strangers." So, there's that.

Finally, we were unable to confirm if Better Stop Suicide meets our Minimum Security Standards. So all in all, we have a whole bunch of questions about this suicide prevention app. What's the worst that could happen? Well, we're not even sure we can tell from this vague privacy policy. It seems like the company could share your data with just about anyone if they wanted, as long as they aren't a stranger we suppose. People who are dealing with suicidal thoughts need all the help we as a society can give them. This app could possibly help. But holy cow, with such an awful mess of a privacy policy, we'd encourage you to find a better app.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Ensure you have a strong password.
  • Do not give consent for disclosure of your Personal Data to third parties
mobile Privacy warning Security warning A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: N/A

App: No

Microphone

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: N/A

App: No

What can be used to sign up?

No sign-up required

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

Better Stop Suicide is not transparent on the exact purposes of data collection. They say they use your personal data on legitimate grounds and/or with your consent. They also say that they might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned in the policy, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered.

Better Stop Suicide might gather information about you that is publicly available.

Better App Company might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

The use of advertising cookies suggests that advertisement is used. Also, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history are collected.

How can you control your data?

The Privacy Policy lists data subject's rights for all users, including right to access and to erase data.

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Average

No known privacy or security incidents discovered in the last 3 years.

Child Privacy Information

Better Stop Suicide says they do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

Can this product be used offline?

Yes

User-friendly privacy information?

No

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Unknown

Encryption

Can’t Determine

Strong password

N/A

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Can’t Determine

Privacy policy

Yes

It's a hot mess, but they do have a privacy policy.

Does the product use AI? information

No


News

10 Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Suicide
American Academy of Pediatrics
As children grow into teenagers, it becomes more challenging for parents to know what they are thinking and feeling. When do the normal ups and downs of adolescence become something to worry about?
Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips for Parents & Educators
National Association of School Psychologists
Suicide is the leading cause of death among school age youth. However, suicide is preventable. Youth who are contemplating suicide frequently give warning signs of their distress. Parents, teachers, and friends are in a key position to pick up on these signs and get help. Most important is to never take these warning signs lightly or promise to keep them secret. When all adults and students in the school community are committed to making suicide prevention a priority-and are empowered to take the correct actions-we can help youth before they engage in behavior with irreversible consequences.
Challenges with mHealth Apps for Depression and Suicide Prevention
Psychiatric Times
With the rapid influx of new technologies, there are many benefits and unintended consequences in the use of mHealth apps in mental health care, there is also a potential role and benefit for well-done mHealth apps to address mental health, and specifically depression and suicidality. However, as a standalone intervention, mHealth tools are not reliable for managing these complex and potentially life-threatening conditions. The treatment of depressed and suicidal patients requires a collaborative, team-based approach including the patient, family, friends and a skilled mental healthcare provider in the utilization of different treatment modalities.
Are Apple users more prone to mental health issues than Android users?
Peter Grange on Linkedin
Analysing data recently from the Better Stop Suicide app there has been a 300% increase in the app's usage in the last two months. And, interestingly, 75% of users own Apple phones versus 25% Android. That is contrary to the global sales and ownership of mobile devices, which is the other way round, with most people having Android phones. As historically Apple was the brand for creative types, does this mean that creative minds are more susceptible to mental health issues? Logic would say yes, however it is going to take quite some time longer, and a lot more research, to really understand how our minds work mentally. We are complex creatures.
How to Create a Mental Health App to Track Anxiety and Depression
aimprosoft
Because of isolation caused by the pandemic, people cannot always visit a psychologist, which has increased demand for helpful digital solutions and made the number of mental health applications skyrocket, topping over 20,000 mental health applications in the App Store and Play market
Saving Life and Keeping Privacy: A Study on Mobile Apps for Suicide Prevention and Privacy Policies
SpringerLink
Suicide is a severe public health issue that impacts the lives of many individuals. Mobile health applications (apps) open new possibilities for safety by daily self-monitoring of suicide-related symptoms, which can help with safety planning. These mobile apps can help health professionals and specialists by providing follow-up and care throughout the treatment of patients with suicidal intents.
User Engagement and Usability of Suicide Prevention Apps: Systematic Search in App Stores and Content Analysis
JMIR Publications
This study identified many usable and engaging apps in app stores designed for suicide prevention. However, there are only limited apps for clinicians. Thus, mobile apps for suicide prevention should be carefully developed and clinically evaluated.

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