Therapy App Hit With Class-Action Privacy Complaint

Online therapy app BetterHelp has been hit with a privacy lawsuit for allegedly sharing users' sensitive mental health data with outside companies.

The case, brought by an anonymous user identified only by the initials C.M., comes several days after the Federal Trade Commission said the app had agreed to pay $7.8 million for allegedly sharing sensitive information, in violation of promises to consumers.

The user alleged that she paid more than $2,000 for therapy through the app, between January of 2020 and October of 2022.

“Prior to deciding to transact with defendant, plaintiff viewed and relied upon defendant’s representations concerning its commitment to maintaining the confidentiality of private information communicated by consumers via defendant’s web platforms,” the therapy user alleges in a class-action complaint brought in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

“Defendant used private information extensively for defendant’s own profit, including by sharing and disclosing private information,” the user adds.

The complaint includes claims that BetterHelp violated its contract with users and engaged in false advertising.

Many of the allegations draw from the FTC's complaint against the company, which alleged that it shared users' health information with Facebook and other third parties.

Among other allegations, the FTC said BetterHelp disclosed to Facebook that more than 1.5 million of BetterHelp's visitors and users were previously in therapy, in order to retarget those people with ads.

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