Just like our country’s Bill of Rights guarantees a core set of privileges for every American, we at Crisis Text Line believe that you should have fundamental rights when you use our service.
We have become accustomed to tech companies tracking our every move and using our data however they choose. At Crisis Text Line, we believe that is not ok.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis—for any reason—you’re not alone. You deserve support and shouldn’t have to worry about your data’s privacy, security, and use. You want to feel protected and should hold power over your personal information. When accessing our support, you control what you share and how your information can be used.
We commit to doing what’s right—not just what’s required—to ensure your confidentiality is guaranteed and your data is secure. We aspire to meet the highest standards for digital rights, data ethics, and privacy for you, our texters, and volunteers. To date, we have focused a great deal on the confidentiality and security of your data. Now, we focus on clearly articulating your digital rights, increasing your control over your data, and transparency of use.
Here’s how we think about your digital rights, how we help in your moments of need, and how we contribute to transforming mental health support for you and the country—while protecting your data rights every step of the way.
Your Digital Bill of Rights
We commit to protecting your data’s privacy, security and use
In a moment of crisis, you should feel protected, be able to trust the integrity of the support you receive, and not have to worry about your data’s privacy, security and use. We have established your Digital Bill of Rights to clearly explain and hold us accountable for upholding these rights when you use our service.
The graphic below illustrates how we help in your moments of need, and how we contribute to transforming mental health support for you and the country—while protecting your data rights every step of the way.
Your right to free support
We believe it is your fundamental right to access free, unbiased, and independent support in times of need. We are a non-profit organization committed to your right of free support, protected by your digital rights, so you can feel secure using our 24/7 service without limitations. We don’t profit from you and your data, but providing this free service requires funding. We are committed to transparently share how we are resourced.
Your right to be anonymous
Your safety, privacy and confidentiality is an essential pillar of our service. We commit to protecting your privacy and your right to have your identity remain confidential. All data are encrypted and when submitted to our research database fully de-identified and anonymized. We do not allow anyone to access data that could identify you, and no one will use your data to individually profile you. We ensure texts to 741741 do not appear on phone bills for major mobile carriers to protect your privacy if you are in a dangerous situation or don’t want anyone to know you’ve contacted us.
Your right to control your data
Your information belongs to you. We commit to provide clear controls by which you can access or delete your conversation data. We do not sell your data. We are commited to use your data reasonably and aligned with your expectations.
Your right to be informed
You deserve clarity around consent and data usage. We commit to making it clear and easy for you to understand our terms, consent to our service and to know how we use data. It is most important that we support people in their moment of need and will continue to invest in opportunities to increase clarity, transparency and consent management. No matter what, we never sell your personal conversation data.
Your right to opt to help others
Together we can improve mental health and help others in need.
During your conversation when you reach out for support, we use snippets of data that others have shared and elements of your data to better help you. In turn, you have the right to opt to help others: when you give us permission, we will use snippets of your data to better help others in their moments of need. (see your right to control your data) We don’t profit from you and your data, instead our goal is to leverage learnings to help reduce crises for you and everyone.
Your right to share feedback
Feedback can be positive or negative – we want to hear it all, so that we can constantly improve our service. We aim to hold ourselves to the highest standards in our data practices and service, and believe that it is crucial to provide avenues where you can hold us accountable and share your reflections at any point. You will be offered the opportunity to give feedback at the end of every text-based conversation. If you have feedback that you would like to share at any point after a conversation, visit us at crisistextline.org/feedback.
You are not alone – we are on this journey together.
Together we have the opportunity to help more people, and to tackle the mental health epidemic across our country and world.
This is just the beginning. As we grow and technology changes, it is critically important that we continue to reflect, evolve and improve on how we hold your digital rights in the highest regard. We aim to clearly articulate your digital rights and illustrate how we support them, so that it is understandable to you, policymakers and the general public.
Note: This page will continue to evolve, as we learn and engage with advisors and our community.