Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Review date: April 20, 2022
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. The app is free to download. To access all it has to offer, users need to pay a $15 per month or a $140 per year subscription fee for Happify Plus.
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 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
- Never link your Happify account to a social media account like Facebook or Twitter.
- Chose a strong password.
- Do not share data with third parties.
What can be used to sign up?
Facebook and Twitter sign-up available
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number, address, phone number, employee ID/healthcare ID, location
The app asks for permissions to access wearable body sensor activity like heart rate monitors
If you register with Facebook or Twitter: your social media data.
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?
Happify created Anna, an AI coach designed to model real-world interactions with a coach or therapist.
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?
Got a comment? Let us hear it.