The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Now for sale: Data on your mental health

By Drew Harwell

13 Feb 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The Post reports on a study which found that data brokers, who capitalized on telehealth and therapy apps during the pandemic, are collecting users mental health data and selling it - without consent.

One company advertised the names and home addresses of people with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress or bipolar disorder. Another sold a database featuring thousands of aggregated mental health records, starting at $275 per 1,000 "ailment contacts."

For years, data brokers have operated in a controversial corner of the internet economy, collecting and reselling Americans' personal information for government or commercial use, such as targeted ads.

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