TALKSPACE Privacy Policy

This privacy policy (this “Policy”) was last updated on October 22, 2021.

Talkspace (“we”, “our”, “us”, “Talkspace”) takes your privacy seriously, and we want you to know how we collect, use, share and protect your information. 

Introduction

Our proprietary technology platform uses advanced data-driven tools to personalize your care, and to enhance evidence of care, care continuity, outcomes metrics and data-based learnings. We provide mental health professionals with insights and capabilities to drive improved and measurable clinical outcomes for patients receiving virtual therapeutic services on our platform.  You can access our platform via the website or through our mobile application available in the app stores (“App”).

When you enroll, inquire about enrolling for or use of Talkspace Services (as defined below), we keep a record of medical information that you provide to us or your therapist as well as any medical information that Talkspace employees or independently contracted therapists provide to you via our platform (such as information on and related to your diagnosis). Medical information means any information that:

  • identifies you; and 
  • relates to your past, present, or future physical or mental health, treatment, the provision of health care services or payment for treatment. 

This includes medical history, diagnoses, treatments, current medical condition, and use of prescription medications. If you are a US subscriber to Talkspace services, your personal information in our possession is protected health information ("PHI") protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended (“HIPAA”), and the applicable provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act. In addition to this Privacy Policy, the HIPAA Notices of Privacy Practices of Talkspace or your Talkspace Provider apply to your PHI.

This Policy explains Talkspace’s practices where we process “personal data”, which is information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual. To “process” or “processing” means the use of personal data including, collecting, recording, storing, using, analyzing, combining, transferring, disclosing, or deleting. 

We reserve the right to change the terms of this Privacy Policy at any time by posting those changes in revisions to this Privacy Policy, so that you are always aware of our processes related to collection, use and disclosure of information. We urge you to check here for any updates to this Privacy Policy from time to time. Unless otherwise indicated, any changes to this Privacy Policy will apply immediately upon posting to the Website or the App.

  • What is included in this Policy?
  • Personal Data We Process & How We Use It 
  • Using the Talkspace App
  • Advanced Data Processing
  • Research
  • What choices do you have about how we collect or use your information?
  • Your California Privacy Rights
  • EU/EEA/UK Privacy Rights
  • Retention
  • Talkspace and Minors
  • Other Mobile Applications and Services 
  • Applying for a Job at Talkspace
  • Security
  • How to Contact Us
  • Additional Information for EU and UK users

What is included in this Policy? 

The information on this page applies to the personal data we collect about your interactions, use, and experience with our website at https://www.talkspace.com (our “Website”), our app on iOS or Android (our “App”), and in connection with the online therapy services we provide (the Website, App and our online therapy services are together, the “Services”). As noted below, our data practices depend on how you interact with our Services, and how you receive and pay for Services, for example whether purchasing Services as a consumer or receiving them through an employment-related benefit.  

This Policy does not apply to any other websites that you visit before our Website or any third-party sites that may be accessible through the Talkspace Services. Please read this Policy carefully so that you understand your rights in relation to personal data, and how we will process that personal data. This Policy supplements our Notice of Privacy Practices (for US patients) any other privacy related disclosures we may provide from time to time (including during your enrollment or management of your account with Talkspace) and is not intended to override them. 

If you do not want us to share personal data or feel uncomfortable with the ways we use information in order to deliver our Services, please do not use the Services.


Personal Data We Process & How We Use It

This table presents the types of information (whether legally classified as personal data or PHI under HIPAA), the sources, and the uses. 

Personal Data Processing
Personal Data Processing
Registration
Types of Personal Data
Registration

Information you provide when you create an account for yourself (or an authorized account for a minor), are matched to a therapist, or register yourself (or on behalf of a minor) as a patient: 

  • Name (e.g. your name or the name of your parent/guardian)
  • Address
  • Country
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Gender and the preferred gender of therapist
  • Email
  • Relationship status
  • Organization/Employer (if applicable)
  • Payment information and transaction history
  • Information on the type of subscription you choose
  • Insurance information 
  • Referral source
  • Information on why you are accessing our Services including what you are hoping to get from therapy
  • Notification preferences
How We Get It

You provide this when you go through the intake process

What we do with it
  • Provide you with the Services (including resubscription) 
  • TMatch you to a therapist
  • Provide you with treatment information
  • Enroll you in services and administer your account
  • Provide you with support
  • Process insurance claims, billing, and payment information
  • Maintaining the safety and security of our users, our Services, and our business
  • Provide announcements and communicate with you, including for marketing purposes
  • Provide mandatory reporting to law enforcement or other governmental authorities, for example in instances of abuse, or ascertainable threats of violence to another person (See Notice of Privacy Practices for more information)
  • Respond to a valid legal request.
  • Process claims or insurance information
  • Provide you with and to evaluate, improve and develop the Services
  • Conduct therapist oversight
  • Control the quality of the Services
  • Permissive reporting of abuse; expressed threats of violence towards an ascertainable victim
Use of the Services
Types of Personal Data
Use of the Services

Data you provide when you use our therapy service, including:

  • Information you disclose in chat data and your chat sharing preferences (transcripts)
  • Audio/Video communication 
  • Documents you share with your therapist via our chat functionality
  • Information collected via our symptom tracker and information on your clinical progress
  • Information collected via chat, telephone, or email support channels
  • Messages that you “star”
  • Information on friends you refer
  • Information you provide as part of treatment intake including emergency contact details, information on your health and mental health and medical history
  • If you use couples therapy, sharing of contact details and some communications will be conducted jointly.
  • If you choose to admit another individual to a therapy “room” for a session, their contact information will be collected and used for that purpose.
How We Get It

Through your use of the Services

What we do with it
  • To provide you with the Services
  • To build, modify, and develop new products, features, and Services.
  • To conduct clinical and other academic research, internally and with approved research partners and identify summary trends or insights for use in external communications (where direct identifiers such as name and contact details have been removed, or pursuant to explicit patient authorization). For more information see “Research” below. See Notice of Privacy Practices. 
  • To address patient concerns or complaints
  • To carry out quality assurance and compliance activities
  • To provide you with assistance in the event of an emergency
When Website visitors contact us
Types of Personal Data
When Website visitors contact us

We collect information when you communicate with us via email. This includes information that you provide when you contact us as well as your email address.

How We Get It

You provide this information to us directly

What we do with it
  • To respond and address your communication
  • To provide you with the Services
  • To improve the Services
  • Provide support to users (therapists and patients)
Technical Data 
Types of Personal Data
Technical Data 

Technical information from software or systems hosting the Services, and from the systems, applications and devices that are used to access the Services, such as: 

  • Information on the device operating system or Talkspace environment 
  • Metrics on system or App feature use 

Information on system events and status

How We Get It

Automatically through use of the Services

What we do with it
  • Create anonymized and/or aggregated data to improve and deliver our Services 
  • Comply with legal obligations
  • Maintain the security of our infrastructure
  • Facilitate the delivery and optimization of Services
  • Monitor performance of our data centers and networks, systems and applications
  • Provide support to users (therapists and patients)
  • Administer our business continuity and disaster recovery plans and policies
  • Detect, investigate, and remediate stop fraudulent, harmful, unauthorized, or illegal activity (“fraud and abuse detection”) through automated and manual means 
  • To provide you with and to evaluate, improve and develop the Services
  • To develop new products
Persistent Identifiers 
Types of Personal Data
Persistent Identifiers 

Data collected via cookies, pixels and other tracking technologies (such as Google Analytics and Google Ads), such as:

  • Internet protocol (IP) addresses
  • Device ID
  • Browser type
  • Internet service provider (ISP)
  • Referrer URL
  • Geolocation information (derived from IP Address,
  • Exit pages, the pages and files viewed on our Website (e.g., HTML pages, graphics, etc.) 
  • Operating system
  • Date/time stamp

NOTE: Once you become a patient the use of cookies, web beacons, pixels, and other processes are limited to ensure that we do not monitor or use patient information for other purposes without your consent.

How We Get It

Collected automatically when you use the Services

What we do with it
  • To provide you with and to evaluate, improve and develop the Services
  • To develop new products
  • Analyze how our Services are used so we can improve your experience
  • Evaluate the success of our marketing campaigns
  • Marketing, including tailoring advertising

Using the Talkspace App

The Talkspace App includes third party software development kits (SDKs) from a number of other companies whom we engage as service providers, for identifying and logging code issues, errors and events; managing interactive communication within the App; compiling analytics on which features get used the most; facilitating customer service contacts regarding subscriptions and service; and processing device identifiers and event logs for ad attribution purposes (such as the initial login event, account creation, subscription events). These third parties process data as a service to Talkspace only, pursuant to written agreements

Advanced Data Processing

The Talkspace therapy experience is enhanced by advanced data processing activities, carried out in order to measure and improve clinical outcomes. Our proprietary matching algorithm and machine-learning tools provide real-time engagement insights, inform treatment, and track clinical progress, and are fundamental to our care delivery model. 

Matching Algorithm. During onboarding we ask you to provide information so that we can assess your condition and incorporate your preferences. We then leverage a proprietary algorithm (and/or support from a Talkspace consultant) to match you to a provider. 

Optimizing Diagnosis and Treatment. Throughout your experience, your provider uses the Talkspace Services to manage your diagnosis and treatment plan. The advanced machine learning features of our proprietary Services include natural language processing of communications with therapists. A core focus of our machine learning strategy is to provide the therapist with insights on patient needs and behaviours and offer techniques and suggestions that we believe are likely to maximize clinical outcomes.

Research

Separate and apart from internal healthcare operations and quality assurance activities undertaken for the purpose of delivering and optimizing patient care on the platform, from time to time, Talkspace conducts or participates in research studies with select universities. You may be offered the opportunity to participate in these studies. If your protected health information will be disclosed as part of these studies, your information will only be included with your written authorization. You will be asked to review and accept terms and enrollment separately from the information included in this Policy. Information from these studies may be published by third parties including through various media platforms/academic journals. See our Notice of Privacy Practices.

What choices do you have about how we collect or use your information?

When you create a Talkspace account or otherwise use the Talkspace Services, we collect (or you may provide us with) your email address, and you have the choice to receive newsletters or promotional material about our services at this address. These messages may be tailored to your responses to onboarding surveys so that you receive information relevant to you. You can further manage your email preferences by unsubscribing from emails (via the link in the message), emailing [email protected] or by visiting our online preference center within the App or the Website. 

In addition to your rights as a patient as set out in the Notice of Privacy Practices, you can ask us to:

  • Stop sending marketing or promotional emails and mobile marketing communications from Talkspace.
  • Limit the use of cookies, pixels, or web beacons. 
  • If you are a EU, EEA or UK user, you can also exercise the rights set out below. 
  • Certain California residents may have additional rights set out below. 

To ask us about these choices, contact [email protected].

Your California Privacy Rights

If you are a resident of the State of California, this privacy policy is supplemented by our California Privacy Rights Statement that explains certain California privacy rights and how affected parties can exercise these rights. 

EU/EEA/UK Privacy Rights

If you are located in the European Union, the European Economic Area, or the United Kingdom, this Policy is supplemented by our Additional Privacy Statement for EU, EEA and UK Users which explains your privacy rights and how you can exercise these rights (among other matters).

Retention

We will retain your information in accordance with the appropriate statutory limitation periods as required by local law, in line with our legitimate business purposes for as long as your account is active or for as long as needed to provide you with the Services, as required in order to comply with our legal obligations, a court order or to defend or pursue legal claims, in line with industry codes of practice, to resolve disputes and enforce our agreements. 

Talkspace and Minors

In the United States, Talkspace may collect information and may provide Services to minors ages 13 – 17 with the written authorization of a parent or guardian. Talkspace does not provide therapeutic services to minors outside of the US.  

Other Mobile Applications and Services

This Policy does not apply to any third-party applications or software that you download, or any other third-party websites, mobile applications, or online products, services, or businesses you may access from the Talkspace Website or App. 

Applying for a Job at Talkspace

Please see our statement on Candidate Privacy for more information on the personal data we process in connection with recruiting.

Security

We take commercially reasonable steps to protect the integrity and confidentiality of personally identifiable and health information that you may share with us. We have complied with the HIPAA security rule for administrative, technical, and physical security safeguards and have third party assessments of our controls performed annually. However, please be aware that no security measures are perfect or impenetrable and we cannot guarantee the absolute security of your information. 

We will do our part to protect your information, but it is important for you to protect your information as well. In addition, we do not control the actions of anyone with whom you or any other Talkspace user may choose to share information. As such, you should be cautious about the access you provide to others when using Talkspace, and the information you choose to share when using the Talkspace website or App. 

How to Contact Us

If you have any privacy-related questions or comments related to this Policy, please send an email to [email protected]

Additional Information for EU, EEA and UK Users

Please see our Additional Privacy Statement for EU, EEA and UK Users for further details on your privacy rights, how we share your personal data, international transfers of personal data and retention of personal data. 

We process the personal data described above in accordance with the following legal basis: 

  • With your consent;
  • As necessary to perform our agreement with you, including when you agree to our Terms of Service;
  • As necessary for our legitimate interests, such as to provide you with the Services;
  • As necessary to comply with our legal obligations; 
  • As necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; and
  • As necessary to protect the vital interests of an individual. 

We are a limited liability company established in New York, USA, with a registered office at 157 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 12567, United States, and, if you are based in the EU, EEA, or UK for the purpose of the EU and UK General Data Protection Regulation, we are the data controller.  

Terms of Use

Terms of Use

These are the rules that govern your access and use of the Talkspace platform (do's and don'ts).

User Agreement

Read these details to understand your use of Talkspace as a casual visitor or a registered member.