Misleading privacy policies

Teladoc’s (TDOC) BetterHelp Barred From Facebook Data Sharing by FTC – Bloomberg

BetterHelp, Teladoc’s online therapy business, will be barred from sharing data, including about mental health, for advertising purposes, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday in a statement, alleging that the company violated privacy pledges for years. The company will also pay $7.8 million to resolve allegations that it revealed sensitive data to companies including Facebook and Snap Inc.’s Snapchat.

One should always remember that privacy policies can be changed at any time. You are using a specific service, and the SDKs of the application can be added or “modded” at any time. Why use them in the first place?

Online therapies were a rage during the pandemic. Okay. But now that the situation is normalised, why stick with those platforms?

I fail to understand the mechanism of imposed penalties. By any stretch of imagination, this is the cost of doing business. Why aren’t there criminal penalties for individuals who degrade privacy for all its users, despite charging for its services?

Teladoc had revenue of $2.4 billion last year, with about $1 billion coming from the BetterHelp. The segment had 420,000 paying users at the end of last year, according to a company filing.

There should be a shift from the applications towards browser based solutions, where advertisements can be blocked (or use DNS to filter out advertisements).

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