In May 2022, Mozilla indicated in its study that many apps related to mental health and prayer lack end-user security. Surprisingly, 25 out of the 32 applications in question failed to meet the browser’s Minimum Security Standards. It is troubling because people pour their hearts out on sensitive topics like domestic violence, mental health issues, and so on in these apps. The study further discovered that the apps even share user data and login credentials to offer consumers targeted ads. Want to know more about it? In this article at ZDNet, Charlie Osborne shares the end-user security issues present in these apps.
Mozilla’s End-User Security Standards
“The mismanagement or unauthorized sharing and sale of user data, vague data management policies, a lack of encryption, weak password policies, no clear vulnerability management system, and other lax security policies can all downgrade a vendor product in the eyes of Mozilla,” adds the author. Mozilla will retag any app raising such end-user security concerns with a ‘*Privacy Not Included’ label.
Apps’ End-User Security Problems
The study indicated that in the last six years no other apps showed such a lack of concern for consumer data more than mental health and prayer apps. Talkspace, Better Help, Calm, Glorify, 7 Cups, Wysa, Headspace, and Better Stop Suicide are some of the apps that Mozilla surveyed.
Better Stop Suicide is a suicide prevention app that failed miserably in meeting the standards. The makers did not respond to Mozilla’s feedback on the app’s end-user security concerns. They also did not mention the trusted partners with who they are sharing user data.
But some of the apps were serious about end-user security. For instance, PTSD Coach and Wysa passed the browser’s standard security checklist.
Mozilla *Privacy Not Included lead Jen Caltrider revealed that mental health and prayer apps regularly “track, share, and capitalize on users’ most intimate personal thoughts and feelings, like moods, mental state, and biometric data.”
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