Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Review date: April 20, 2022
Sanvello says they have "everything you need to feel better." That includes self-care practices, coaching, online therapists, and a peer support community. This mental health app offers wellness strategies based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness meditation to help users work on their stress, anxiety, and depression. And holy cow, there's a lot of stress, anxiety, and depression out there these days. A walk around their website shows they have celebrity influencers supporting their app like author John Green and gymnast Aly Raisman. The app is free to download, with many features only available through a subscription of around $54 a year. Insurance and employer coverage is also an option.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Sanvello says they can collect a lot of personal information, including name, email, gender, location, birth date, mood, health and biometric data, thought records, messages with your coach, and more. And they say the may combine all this personal data with information they get from other sources, such as potentially data brokers and advertising companies. And they say they may use and disclose de-identified and aggregated data for any purpose (here's where we remind you such de-identified data has been found to be relatively easy re-identify, especially if location data is included.) Red flags for us.
How do they say they can use all this data they collect on you? Sanvello says they can share your personal information with third party researcher partners for health or behavioral research purposes. They can share information about your use of Sanvello with health insurers or health plan administrators to evaluate your care (they say they won't share your thought records with health insurers). And Sanvello says they can use your personal information for advertising and promotional purposes. Finally, Sanvello adds that they can use your personal information "as otherwise necessary or useful for us to conduct our business, so long as such use is permitted by law or for any other purpose with your consent." That last part feels kinda broad and vague to us. Guess what, more red flags. 🚩 🚩 🚩
What's the worst that could happen with Sanvello? Well, we suppose it's possible you could think it normal for a mental health app (or any app, but especially one that collects so much personal information) to collect and share so much of your personal information and get used to that as the norm in the world and completely give up on having any privacy at all. That's sounds terrible. Let's never let that happen.
Tips to protect yourself
- Ensure you have a strong password
- Do not allow third-party tools access to your medical data
- Do not give permission to combine your data with other third-party data, or to use it for research
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, gender, date of birth, location
Health and other biometric data (if certain services are used)
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?
Sanvello offers offline meditation options.
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Data is sent over SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and any persistent data is encrypted and stored on secured servers
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