Warning: *privacy not included with this product
NOCD is an app designed to help treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD. And with a big spike in people reporting OCD symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no surprise investors are jumping on board, giving NOCD $33 million in funding at the end of 2021.
The app helps users connect with a therapist who specializes in OCD treatment, provides face-to-face therapy, and supports users in between sessions with therapeutic tools and connections to others in the OCD community. It is currently free to download and use. Therapy session are paid for on a per session basis and NOCD says they do partner with many major insurance companies. NOCD is currently available in the US, UK, Australia, and parts of Canada. Unfortunately, we're a bit concerned about NOCD's privacy practices. They do say they can collect a good deal of personal information, combine that information with data gathered from third parties, and use that information for targeted, interest-based advertising and potentially more. Come on NOCD, we don't need another thing to worry about these days!
What could happen if something goes wrong?
NOCD says they can collect a whole lot of information on their users. Everything from name, address, email address, and telephone number, to age, gender, to health information like your OCD triggers and intensity levels, to your precise location information when you're using the app and even when you're not. Yikes! NOCD also says they can collect even more information about you from third parties such as social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram as well as "Companies that provide information to supplement what we already know about you" (like data brokers?). Double yikes!!! That's a whole lot of information NOCD is collecting on you. And it seems to us like information that goes beyond what they need to help you manage and treat your OCD.
What does NOCD say they can do with all this personal information and app usage data they collect on you? Well, to begin with, they say they can combine the information you give them with information they gather from third parties. Then they say they can use that information for things like learning your interests to better understand what tools interest you and to target you with ads. They actually use the word "might" a whole lot when they talk about how they say they can market you with targeted ads, which is a concern for us when it comes to privacy policies because that word "might" seems to offer a lot of wiggle room. Here's what they actually say, "We might use your information to serve you ads about tools and offers. We might tell you about new features or updates. These might be third party offers or tools, services or studies we think you might find interesting. We may also use your information to send you electronic communications. We and our partners may engage in interest-based advertising using information gathered across multiple websites, devices, or other platforms."
We "might" say this is all quite a bit concerning for an app that collects so much personal information. Ah heck, forget the "might", we do say that concerns us. NOCD says they can collect a whole lot of personal information, can combine that with other information they get from third parties like social media sites and potentially data brokers. They then say they can share that information with a whole host of third parties including business partners and the vague "For Other Reasons We May Describe to You."
Tips to protect yourself
- Opt out of location-based information collection in the app settings.
- Limit information you post on social media pages
What can be used to sign up?
Google sign-up is available
What data does the company collect?
Name, mailing address, telephone number, email address, phone number, birthdate, age, gender, location and zip code.
Information about your condition including but not limited to obsessions, compulsions, triggers, intensity levels, etc.
Information you post on our social media pages, as well as social media profile information and information posted on your page.
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?
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