Scope; Accepting This Policy
What Information We Collect
How We May Use That Information
Third Party Services
Purposes for Processing Your Data; Triaging
How We Protect and Store Your Information
Requesting Access, Deletion, or Changes to Your Information
Some More Legal Stuff
Last Updated: September 6, 2023 10:20 AM EST
- What Data We Collect. When you reach out to us for support, we keep a record of each conversation, and we may automatically receive the phone number, mobile service provider, IP address, and/or internet service provider that you used to contact us.
- When & Why We May Share Data That Identifies You. We may share information that identifies you if necessary to help prevent death or serious injury, or to meet legal requirements.
- When & Why We May Share Data That Does Not Identify You. We may use and share anonymized data with third parties (such as researchers, partners, or the public) to inform public health, improve or raise awareness of our service, or for any other reasons.
- How You Can Request Deletion of Your Data. You can ask us to delete your data by texting or messaging the word “DELETE” to us.
- How We Protect Your Data. We take many steps to protect your data, including encryption, access controls, intrusion detection, and other methods.
- What Happens When You Contact Us Through Third-Party Services. If you reach out to us through a third-party service (such as WhatsApp), that service may have different policies about how that service collects, uses, and shares your data.
For further detail, please read the full policy below. You can skip to some sections quickly by clicking the links above.
- For our terms of service, click here.
- For our commitment to protecting digital rights, click here.
- If you are in danger or need emergency help, call 911 or your local emergency services number.
You can opt out of any conversation with Crisis Text Line by texting or messaging the word STOP to us during that conversation. You can opt back in by texting or messaging us through our crisis support services again.
When you text or message us, we may automatically receive some PII and other information from you, which may include (i) your phone number, (ii) your mobile service provider, (iii) your IP address, and/or (iv) your internet service provider.
We keep records of conversations you have with us through the Services, including all messages sent or received. In those conversations, we may ask you for certain PII, such as your name, birthday, and address, particularly if necessary to help a person in grave danger. You can choose whether to provide that information.
If you choose to take a survey of ours, you may choose whether to enter PII there or to keep your survey responses anonymous.
We may process your data for many reasons, including to provide services to you, to improve our Services, and to contribute to knowledge about crises. We may use and share any information, including PII, that we collect via the Services amongst our employees, volunteers, agents, contractors, and service providers to support you, to operate, analyze, research, develop, deliver, audit, maintain, and improve Crisis Text Line, our Services, content, and communications.
WHEN WE MIGHT SHARE PERSONALLY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION WITH THIRD PARTIES
We care about your safety. We want to support you and others in staying safe and healthy and to do so in the least invasive way. In rare cases, this means we might contact and share your information with emergency services or other first responders if we believe it will prevent death or serious injury. Just saying “I’m feeling suicidal” does not necessarily mean we’ll contact emergency services. Our goal is to work with you on plans to keep you safe. But, in some cases, we may need to share your information with emergency services for them to try to locate you and help prevent death or serious injury. This could happen if your messages show that you intend to die by suicide, have identified a method, have access to that method, plan to take action soon, and are not willing or able to collaborate on a safety plan.
We also may need to share your information if you tell us about abuse or neglect which we are required by law to report to local authorities. This can happen if you say, for example, that a child under age 18 (or a disabled, dependent, or elderly adult) has experienced abuse or neglect. We may ask you for the affected person’s date of birth, name, and address to include in that report. You can choose not to provide the information that we ask you for.
HOW WE MAY USE NON-IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION
When you use our Services, we also collect certain kinds of anonymous non-identifiable information such as the date and time of day you texted in. We may also anonymize PII that we collect from you so that it cannot be used to identify you or to contact you, by removing or replacing personally identifiable information from it, making it non-identifiable.
We may use and share non-identifiable data with third parties for any reason. Some reasons are described below.
If you provide feedback to us in a survey, we may also ask for your permission to share a non-identifiable version of your feedback with the public — without your name, PII, or any identifying details, of course. Your message may give volunteers the energy to keep supporting people in crisis and inspire others to join or support Crisis Text Line.
We share some anonymized data with researchers at universities and other institutions through a formal process with contracts in place. We do this to contribute to insights and discoveries that may benefit people in crisis. For more details, read about our Data Philosophy.
- Improving Our Services
To help us improve our Services, we may collect and analyze non-identifiable information through third-party applications and services (such as Amplitude, FrontEnd, Storagize, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager). These applications and services collect data about how people use our Services, which may include your operating system, Internet browser, mobile device, or screen resolution. The data they collect may also include general usage information, such as whether you have reached out to us before, the number of our website’s visitors, or which links were clicked. This information may be collected in the form of cookies, local browser storage, or similar features.
- Contacting Crisis Text Line Through a Third Party Service
If you use a third party service (“Third Party Service”) such as Whatsapp to reach us, both Crisis Text Line and the Third Party Service may have access to your information. Crisis Text Line and the Third Party Service may also share your information with each other (such as for legal reasons or to contact first responders in an emergency).
- Recommending Another Resource During a Conversation
During a conversation, we may tell you about another program, resource, or website that we think could be helpful to you. If you choose to contact them, you should read their policies to decide whether to share your information with them. We will not share your information with that program or website.
Our lawful purposes for processing your data include consent (where you have given consent), contract (where processing is necessary to deliver the support you requested by reaching out), protecting your vital interests, performing tasks carried out in the public interest, and the legitimate interests of Crisis Text Line (namely, to help you stay safe and healthy in a crisis). In short, we collect information so we can provide you and others like you with better Services, helping people in crisis to reach a calmer, safer state of mind.
We may also use automated processes to help us triage the order in which you are connected with an available volunteer crisis counselor, based upon the urgency of your crisis.
We care deeply about data privacy and data security. We take reasonable security precautions, including encryption, and other administrative, technical, and physical measures, to protect your PII from loss, theft, misuse, and unauthorized access. We store information on secure servers and we limit the Crisis Text Line employees and third parties that have access to them.
Although we take reasonable measures to protect your information, perfect security does not exist anywhere. We can’t guarantee that your information will never be exposed, or that our security measures will always be able to prevent unauthorized access by third parties.
- How You May Further Protect Your Information
To protect your privacy on your own devices, you can delete Crisis Text Line conversations from your devices, clear us from your browser history, and not save our number in your contact list.
- Donor Privacy
Crisis Text Line keeps a record of each donor’s giving history for IRS purposes, to analyze giving patterns, make budget projections, and solicit future donations. We do not share our donor file with any other party or organization. For more information, please see our Donor Confidentiality Policy.
HOW LONG WE MAY STORE YOUR INFORMATION
Crisis Text Line stores data for the purposes described above. We keep PII for no longer than seven years, and then either anonymize it, or delete it. We keep non-identifiable data — including the data we have de-identified — indefinitely.
You can request access to or changes to your information in our records by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will require you to verify your identity for us to process your request. You can request that we delete your PII and conversation transcripts by texting or messaging the word DELETE to us, using whatever service you used to contact us (text, WhatsApp, or webchat), after which we will ask you to confirm your request.
California Civil Code Section § 1798.83 permits users of our Services who are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please send an email to email@example.com with “California Privacy Rights” in the subject line, or write to us at: Crisis Text Line, Attn: Legal Dept., 225 West 34th Street, Floor 9 — PMB# 9135, New York, NY 10122.
CHILDREN UNDER 13 YEARS OLD
IF YOU ACCESS CRISIS TEXT LINE FROM OUTSIDE THE U.S., YOUR INFORMATION WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE U.S.
Crisis Text Line’s staff, volunteers, and contractors are primarily located across the United States, and may not be licensed in your state, trained in, or subject to your state’s law.
The Services are primarily operated in the United States. If you are outside of the United States, any information you provide will be collected in or transferred to the United States. Your information may be accessed by Crisis Text Line employees, volunteers, agents, contractors, and service providers located inside or outside of the United States. By using the Services and/or providing us with your information, you consent to the collection and transfer of your information in or out of the United States.
If you are in crisis anywhere in the U.S. and want to reach one of our trained volunteers, please text us at 741741, contact us via WhatsApp at (443) SUP-PORT for English or (442) AYU-DAME for Spanish, or reach out to us via webchat. Message frequency varies. Message & data rates may apply.
If you are in crisis in the UK, Canada, or Ireland:
For media inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.