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Senators Question BetterHelp, Talkspace About Privacy Concerns

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A trio of Democratic senators have sent letters to executives at BetterHelp and Talkspace requesting additional information about how their mental health apps manage user data.

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent the letters to BetterHelp president Alon Matas and Talkspace chairman Douglas Braunstein on June 22.

Both executives were asked to submit their answers to the senators' questions by July 6. Those questions concern what information the mental health apps share with "advertisers, data brokers, research and analytics firms, and social media sites including Meta"; how they anonymize user data; and how much control those users have over their personal data.

The senators say "there is mounting evidence that platforms marketing themselves as a 'cost-effective alternative to traditional therapy' are collecting, mining, and disseminating private information about their clients" by exploiting a "regulatory gray area" regarding telehealth apps.

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