Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Happiness has a score! Scientists who study positive psychology, aka the science of happiness, came up with techniques to make you happier. They can even tell how happy you are with tests and surveys. Because according to Happify, "happiness isn't just one thing, it's everything." Which sounds kinda existential to us. We also agree that would look great on a motivational poster. The Happify app is a bunch of science-based activities and games designed to help users beat stress, negative thoughts, and life's challenges. Lord knows life has a bunch of those.
Happify does seem to collect a fair amount of personal information and we have outstanding questions about how they manage security vulnerabilities. We know we'd be happier if they didn't collect so much personal information. Unfortunately, "privacy isn't just one thing, it's everything" doesn't look as good on a motivational poster. Or does it?
What could happen if something goes wrong?
First reviewed April 20, 2022. Review updated, April 25, 2023
Read our 2022 review:
First of all, we're not at all sure why Happify needs access to your phone's flashlight, but indeed, it does request permission to control your device's flashlight when you download the app. Which is kinda funny, but also a good reminder to check the permissions an app will require before downloading it. Some of them might surprise (or frighten) you.
Happify does collect a fair amount of personal information and app usage data, as we found with nearly all the mental health apps we reviewed. They do say they can use data they collect for advertising purposes. Happify also says they reserve the right to share or sell aggregate or group data about Happify users. Generally, this aggregate data is data with no personally identifiable information. However, with the use of things like device identifiers and location data, both of which Happify says they can collect, it has been found to be relatively easy to re-identify such user data.
What's the worst that could happen? Well, no one wants their terrible happiness score available for all the world to see. Here's hoping that never happens.
Tips to protect yourself
- Opt out of cookies collection
- Do not log in using third-party accounts like Facebook
- Do not connect to any third party via the app, or at least make sure that a third party employs decent privacy practices
- Do not give consent for sharing of personal data for marketing and advertisement.
- Choose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
- Do not use social media plug-ins.
- 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 (eg 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.
What can be used to sign up?
Facebook and Twitter sign-up available
What data does the company collect?
Name, date of birth, postal address, email address, age, gender and other personal information that may be considered a protected classification characteristic under California or federal laws, geolocation data.
Information regarding your medications, medical history and other healthcare-related information
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
No known privacy or security incidents discovered in the last 3 years.
Child Privacy Information
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Is this AI untrustworthy?
What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?
"Anna is here to point you in the right direction, and to help proactively manage your mental health."
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
Happify Health Weaves a New Path as Twill, the Intelligent Healing Company™Business Wire
Mental health app privacy language opens up holes for user dataThe Verge
Mental Health Apps Fail to Protect Privacy, Harming UsersMad In America
Happify: For Stress & Worry ReviewOne Mind Psyber Guide
Happify App Review 2022: Pros & Cons, Cost, & Who It’s Right ForChoosing Therapy
The Ethical Dilemma of Mental Health AppsAcceleration Economy Network
Global Mental Health Apps Market Size, Share & Industry Trends Analysis Report By Application, By Platform Type, By Regional Outlook and Forecast, 2021 - 2027Yahoo! finance
How AI Can Help Manage Mental Health In Times Of CrisisForbes
Got a comment? Let us hear it.