Mental health apps are scooping up your most sensitive data. Will you benefit?
An app for monitoring people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is so precise it can track when a patient steps outside for a cigarette break or starts a romantic relationship — and where that new partner lives. Another app, meant to screen for suicidality, analyzes not only text message metadata, but also the content of the conversations. While these smartphone trackers are being developed through academic research projects, which require patients to give informed consent before sharing intensely personal information, mental health apps without such safeguards are already on the market for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other conditions.
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