Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Shine was built by two women of color to focus on groups too often underrepresented in wellness conversations -- women of color. The app features daily meditations, self-care courses, personalized support, and monthly virtual workshops. With a majority of teachers being people of color, Shine is able to focus more specifically on the causes of stress, anxiety, and depression in the Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities, especially among women. Meditation topics focused on specific communities -- AAPI, Black, LGBTQ+, Latinx for example -- are designed to help users manage work frustrations, navigate relationships, and find joy. With a staff that is 80% BIPOC, Shine believes that fighting for the mental health of marginalized people helps fights for their lives and rights too. Yay for caring for and about marginalized communities! But how does Shine's privacy and security practices look? Well, unfortunately, in 2022 they didn't really shine. And then they got sold to Headspace, and their privacy practices don't really shine either.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
First reviewed April 20, 2022. Review updated, April 25, 2023
Read our 2022 review:
Shine says they can collect a fair amount of personal information on you including first and last name, postal address, email address, and other "identifying information that you choose." They can also collect information such as your annual revenue, gender, and certain demographic information they say they don't consider personal info but rather anonymized statistical data. Shine also says they can receive information about your from third parties including business partners, data brokers, or credit reporting agencies. So much data from so many places! We don't like it.
They go on to say, as so many mental health app companies we reviewed do, "We may disclose aggregated, anonymized, statistical data and/or non-identifying information about our Users without restriction." And here is where we must remind you that it has been found to be relatively easy to de-anonymize this data.
Shine collects a lot of personal information, shares a lot of personal information with a lot of people and on top of all that, they don't meet our Minimum Security Standards (we were able to log into the app with the weak password "111111". ) All in all, Shine leaves us concerned about their privacy and security practices. Which is a bummer, because we here at *Privacy Not Included firmly believe protecting the privacy of marginalized communities is very important. Here's hoping Shine will step up and do better for the communities they work to help.
Tips to protect yourself
- Do not log in using third-party accounts like Facebook - Do not give consent for sharing of personal data for marketing and advertisement.
- Chose 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 or Apple accounts can be used
What data does the company collect?
First and last name, postal address, email address
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?
You can download your Shine meditations
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
All information you provide to us through the Websites is secured by TLS technology, and is stored on our secure, password protected servers behind firewalls.
Improved their password requirement.
Headspace Health Announces Agreement to Acquire The Shine App, an Inclusive Mental Health and Wellbeing PlatformBusiness Wire
Mental health apps have terrible privacy protections, report findsThe Verge
'Creepy' Mental Health And Prayer Apps Are Sharing Your Personal DataForbes
Mental health and prayer apps have some of the worst privacy protections, study claims, finding they 'track, share and capitalize' on users intimate thoughts and feelingsDaily Mail
This Wellness App Shines a Light on Black Mental HealthPCMag
Top 10 Free Mental Health Apps in 2022Psych Central
Most Meditation Apps Are Voiced by White People, but the Founders of ‘Shine’ Are Changing ThatPure Wow
Shine brings its female-focused self-care app to AndroidTechCrunch
Meet the Women Founders Behind Shine and Wysa, Two Apps Focused on Mental Health and Self-CareYahoo!
The Best Meditation Apps to Help With AnxietyOprah Daily
Shine App Founders Give a Master Class in MindfulnessPsych Central
The Best Mental-Health Apps for POC, According to ExpertsThe Strategist
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