Warning: *privacy not included with this product
RAINN stands for Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. It is the largest anti-sexual violence non-profit organization in the United States. Best known for creating and operating the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) since 1994, RAINN also offers an app designed to help survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. The app offers someone to chat with through the RAINN hotline if you are in need of support, self-care tools such as a mood tracker and meditation exercises, and ways to learn more about the problems and solution of sexual violence. Good on RAINN for never requiring users to provide any personal information to use the app. This is super important for an app targeted to such a vulnerable community. Unfortunately, we do have some outstanding questions about the app's privacy and security that leave us concerned.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
First reviewed April 20, 2022. Review updated, April 25, 2023
Read our 2022 review:
RAINN does use Google Analytics (as nearly every app we reviewed does) to determine app usage statistics but only collects anonymized location data at the city/state/country level. Which doesn't worry us too much, although we must always warn that anonymized data has been found to be relatively easy to de-anonymize. RAINN also includes a safety procedure warning to delete the app after every use if an abuser has access to your device. And follows this with a reminder that the history of downloading the app will still exist in backups, synced files, and the app store history. Which is a huge reminder that almost anything we do on the internet leaves a trail, that domestic abusers are the scum of the earth, and that remaining private while seeking help for violence or mental health situations online can be both live-saving and life-threatening for too many people.
We do have some questions about the security of the RAINN app we couldn't answer. And when we emailed and called RAINN to try and get answers, we didn't receive any response, which is a concern. We noticed the RAINN app hasn't been updated in the Google Play store since November 2020. That long without an update doesn't mean anything is wrong. It does show that no security updates have been done (hopefully because they haven't been needed) in a while. This could be nothing major, we're just noting this as it's good when apps are updated when needed. All in all, RAINN's app privacy is excellent. Their security is a bit of a question for us. We also recognize non-profit backed apps don't generally have the same resources to provide security as bigger companies do. Hopefully nothing will go wrong there, but do be aware.
Tips to protect yourself
- We recommend users chose an app that provides regular security updates. This app does not seem to do that.
- Ensure you use the app anonymously by not providing of email and/or real name.
- 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.
What can be used to sign up?
No sign-up required
What data does the company collect?
If you use RAINN Sites: Name, Address, Phone number, Email. If you only use the app: you can use it anonymously.
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?
Last update of Android app: on Nov 17, 2020.
Mental health apps have terrible privacy protections, report findsThe Verge
RAINN’s New App Offers Support Anytime, AnywhereRAINN
The RAINN Mobile App: An Amazing New Tool for Sexual Assault SurvivorsThe Success Network
New! The RAINN Mobile App Offers Survivors & Loved Ones Another Option for SupportRAINN
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