Karissa Brennan, a therapist who has signed with Talkspace for about two years, said the company contacted her about a resource she had shared with a patient. She says that the company has asked her to keep its customers inside the app. Brennan told the newspaper she believes she sent an anxiety spreadsheet to her clients.
The company’s co-founders say Talkspace analyzes encrypted and anonymized data to help warn therapists about their clients using potentially dangerous language. The Company also uses that data to catch the inappropriate behavior of its contractors. Franks says the company̵7;s approach has allowed it to operate for almost 10 years without a statement of negligence in its network.
They also claim that only two employees, the medical director and the chief technology officer, have access to any of the original transcripts, and both need to agree to view them. According to Franks, this has only happened “a few times.” Furthermore, each time Talkspace receives patient consent. A Talkspace attorney also countered claims that the company used to use patient data for marketing purposes.
In addition to user data mining, the company may have had other suspicious activities. The The New York Times reports that the startup has given phone employees to post fake positive reviews to the App Store and Play Store, an behavior that both Apple and Google prohibit in their developer guidelines.