Crisis Text Line, a nonprofit that uses texting to help users with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts, has stopped sharing data collected through those texts with Loris.ai, a for-profit spinoff that used the data to make customer service software, the organization announced Monday.
The news follows an investigation by POLITICO which revealed their data sharing relationship. Crisis Text Line told POLITICO that the data it shared with Loris.ai is anonymous, and that its data sharing practices are "clearly stated" for users in its terms of service. But the nonprofit has faced widespread backlash from privacy experts, as it is sometimes possible to reverse-engineer anonymous data, and terms of service usually go unread.
"Your trust is critical to fulfilling our mission of building a more empathetic world," Crisis Text Line said in a statement. "During these past days, we have listened closely to our community’s concerns."
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