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FTC proposes $7.8M settlement for counseling service which shared private data with social media marketers


Thursday’s proposed $7.8 million settlement order by the Federal Trade Commission was related to allegations that an online counseling service had shared customers’ sensitive information with online advertisers such as Facebook.

“In the hierarchy of health information, details about a person’s mental health may be among the most confidential,” the FTC said Friday in a blog post explaining the disturbing case.

“[BetterHealth] Promised to keep [sensitive health information] private through statements like: ‘Rest assured – any information provided in this questionnaire will stay private between you and your counselor.'”

“But from the FTC’s perspective, a truthful statement would have been ‘Rest assured – we plan to share your information with major advertising platforms, including Facebook, Snapchat, Criteo, and Pinterest.'”

BetterHelp, an online counseling site, is also known as My Therapist Teen Counseling Faithful Counseling Pride Counseling, Terappeuta Spanish-speaking clients and other, according to the FTC in its pending settlement update March 2.

A proposed settlement may allow for partial refunds to those who signed up for BetterHelp services between December 31, 2017 and August 1, 2017. The…

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