Volunteer Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

Last Updated: October 26, 2022, 6:45  PM EST

At Crisis Text Line, our goal is to help people in crisis. It’s admirable to volunteer your time to support people who reach out for help. We want you to feel supported and to understand how we handle the data you share with us.  Here is an overview of some of the main points of our Volunteer Terms of Service & Privacy Policy:

  • What Data We Collect. We keep a record of data that you voluntarily provide to us, including through your application, training, the Platform, and surveys. We also keep a record of conversations that you take with texters, and communications that you have on our Platform.
  • When & Why We May Share Data That Identifies You. We may share information that identifies you with CTL employees, agents, and service providers for quality control, improving our services or infrastructure, and similar reasons. We may share information that identifies you with authorities for safety or legal reasons. 
  • When & Why We May Share Data That Does Not Identify You. We may use and share anonymous and anonymized data with third parties for any reason, including but not limited to sharing anonymized data with academics for research or aggregated data about crisis trends with partners or the public to promote our service or to inform and improve public health. 
  • Deleting Your Data. You may ask us to delete all of your data (including your conversation records and contact information) by emailing your request to legal@crisistextline.org.

Protecting Your Data. We rigorously safeguard your data in various ways, including by using encryption, access controls, intrusion detection, and other methods.

Executive Summary:
As an organization Crisis Text Line aims to support people in crisis and help texters reach a calm, safe place.  We work in collaboration between personnel and volunteers to achieve this. In order to ensure the safety of Crisis Text Line Personnel, Community Members and our texters; we ask that all volunteers read, understand  and adhere our terms of service and privacy policy

Describe what information we collect from volunteers, and explain how we use, transfer, and store that information. 

By accessing or using the Platform, CCs agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy described below:

Scope: Acceptance of Terms
At Crisis Text Line (“CTL”, “we”, or “us”), our goal is to support people in crisis. We are here to support texters in their journey to finding a calmer and safer state of mental well-being. We also try to equip them with tools to help them get to a calmer and safer state of mental well-being if they face a crisis in the future. 

Before using or accessing our platform (the “Platform”) after logging in with your credentials at Home.CrisisTextLine.org to provide text messaging-based crisis support services operated by CTL (“Services”) in response to messages from texters that come into the Platform via text message/SMS, webchat, or WhatsApp, please read the following. This document applies to all CTL volunteers (“Volunteers” or “you”). By accessing or using the Platform you agree to these Terms of Service (“Terms of Service”) and our privacy policy (“Privacy Policy”; and together with the Terms of Service, “Terms”) described below. 

These Terms govern your access and use of the Platform and rendering of the Services or other volunteer activities you perform on behalf of CTL, describe what information we collect through the Platform, and explain how we use, transfer, and store that information. These Terms will inform you if and to whom we disclose any of that information, and what choices you have in how we use that information. We hope that knowing how and why we use data will help you make an informed choice about volunteering for CTL. If you don’t agree to these Terms, you may not use the Platform or volunteer for CTL.

You may contact CTL by email at info@crisistextline.org with questions about these Terms. (Emails will be addressed by our customer service team.)

Consent; Changes to Terms
We care about you and we want to be thoughtful about these Terms and how CTL works. So, these Terms may be changed from time to time. Upon the implementation of any changes to these Terms, you will signify your consent to the Terms then in effect by signing in to the Platform. Continuing to use the Platform after we’ve changed the Terms will mean that you accept the revised Terms.

Nature of the Services
The Services we offer are intended to empower texters to stay safe and healthy during a crisis. Your participation in our Services via our Platform and/or other volunteer activities for CTL does not create or imply any sort of employment relationship with CTL. Additionally, to protect the privacy and safety of our texters and Volunteers, you agree to abide by these Terms, our Code of Conduct, and any other applicable policies as enacted or amended from time to time by the org. If you have questions, comments or feedback for us, please email info@crisistextline.org

Risks; Use of Services
You assume all risk for use of the Platform. Neither CTL nor any of our employees, Volunteers, agents, service providers, or any persons or other entities with whom CTL has contracted shall have any liability for or in connection as a result of your provision of the Services, use of the Platform, or other volunteer activities you perform on behalf of CTL. You agree to indemnify us and hold us harmless for damages arising out of (A) your improper provision of the Services, use of the Platform, or performance of other volunteer activity on behalf of CTL, (B) your breach of these Terms, (C) your violation of the law, (D) claims asserted by third parties that you are in breach of these Terms, or (E) information provided by you to CTL. Additionally, in no event shall CTL be liable for any special, incidental, consequential, exemplary, or indirect damages.

The Services and the Platform are provided on an “as is” basis and “as available” basis. CTL and its service providers expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Without limiting the above, CTL and its service providers make no warranty that CTL will (A) meet your requirements; (B) be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free; or (C) meet your expectations. The foregoing disclaimers of liability apply to all damages or injury, including those caused by any failure of performance, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect or delay in operation or transmission, whether for breach of contract, tortious behavior, including negligence, or any other cause of action.

Prohibited Uses; Right to Terminate Access
You agree to render the Services, use our Platform, and/or perform other volunteer activities on behalf of CTL only for lawful and legitimate purposes and in accordance with these Terms. You agree not to render the Services, use the Platform, and/or perform other volunteer activities on behalf of CTL: 

  • in any way that violates any applicable federal, state, local, or international law or regulation;
  • for the purpose of exploiting, harming, or attempting to exploit or harm minors in any way;
  • to threaten, harass, or otherwise inappropriately abuse CTL, its employees, partners, agents, subcontractors, crisis counselors, users, or others;
  • to send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use, or re-use any content which does not comply with these Terms;
  • to “spam,” gather or attempt to gather personal information belonging to users or others for the purposes of spamming, marketing, selling to third parties, or otherwise abusing CTL, our Services, or our users;
  • to impersonate or attempt to impersonate another person or entity;
  • to engage in any other conduct that restricts or inhibits anyone’s use or enjoyment of the Services or the Platform, or which, as determined by us, may harm CTL or users of the Services, or expose them to liability;
  • to copy, adapt, decompile, reverse engineer, attempt to discover the source code of or make derivative works of the Platform or the Services or any portion of the Platform or the Services; or
  • to otherwise attempt to interfere with the proper working of CTL, the Platform, or the Services.

CTL reserves the right to terminate your access to the Platform if you violate these Terms, our Code of Conduct, other applicable policies, or applicable laws or regulations. CTL further reserves the right to terminate your role or access to the Platform for any other reason, at our sole discretion. 

Third Party Service Providers
We use certain third party service providers that enable us to provide, maintain, or improve the Platform. The software provided by these service providers helps us engage in conversations with texters, collect data sets to share internally and externally to advance the mental health sector, and conduct background checks to ensure that our Volunteers appropriately represent CTL. For example, we may use service providers to vet the criminal histories of applicants seeking to become Volunteers, or to store data collected from Volunteers during the application and training process as well as generate data from post-conversation surveys and conversations between Volunteers and texters.

Our use of service providers necessarily means that (A) both CTL and the service providers may have access to the content of your information and (B) your information may be shared between us and those service providers. We are not responsible for, and make no representations regarding, the policies or practices of any service provider. We encourage you to review the terms and policies of any third party service providers you use, to understand how that third party collects, uses, transfers, and stores data.

Collection and Use of Personally Identifiable Information
Personally identifiable information (“PII”) is data that can be used to uniquely identify you, like your full name or home address. During your time as a Volunteer with CTL you may be asked by staff to provide PII in connection with your volunteer activities on our behalf. While we may collect PII, we will not share it with any third parties except as noted in this Privacy Policy. CTL uses the information it collects about you to, among other things, vet applicant Volunteers, operate and improve the Platform, contact and respond to you, and as detailed more fully below.

Purposes for Processing Data
Our lawful purposes for processing your data include consent (where you have given consent), contract (where processing is necessary to give you access to the Platform), protecting your vital interests, performing tasks carried out in the public interest, and the legitimate interests of CTL. Where we rely on your consent, you have the right to withdraw or decline your consent (and thereby terminate your status as a Volunteer with CTL) at any time by requesting that we delete your account information by emailing legal@crisistextline.org or info@crisistextline.org, as described below.

What Personally Identifiable Information We Collect
The data we collect from you is that which you voluntarily provide to us, including through your application, training, communications and information provided via the Platform, post-conversation surveys, and other surveys and interactions in connection with your volunteer activities on behalf of CTL. The UserID you use on the Platform is not PII, but can map to PII.

How We Use Our Personally Identifiable Information
We may use and share the PII that we collect amongst our employees, agents, and service providers in order to help us operate, analyze, research, develop, deliver, audit, maintain, and improve our products, content, advertising, communications, and the Platform. If you provide feedback, that feedback may also be shared with CTL staff. We may also anonymize and share your de-identified feedback with the public and with other Volunteers, because your message may give Volunteers and others the energy to keep supporting people in crisis and inspire others to join or support CTL.

Disclosures to Third Parties
We may disclose PII we collect from you to third parties if we believe such disclosure is necessary: (A) to comply with the law or in response to a subpoena, court order, government request, or other legal process; (B) to protect the interests, rights, safety,or property of CTL, its affiliates, employees, agents, or volunteers, including but not limited to Volunteers and staff; (C) to enforce our Terms; (D) in connection with a sale, merger, or change of control of CTL or its affiliates, or (E) to address fraud, security, technical issues, or to operate the Platform or its infrastructure systems properly.

Note that CTL’s staff and Volunteers are located across the United States. Other state laws may apply to your information, and those state laws may not protect your information to the same degree, or in the same way, as the laws of your state.

Non-Personally Identifiable Information
In connection with your volunteer activities on behalf of CTL, we also collect, use, and share non-PII, which is data that cannot be directly used to identify or contact you, such as conversation volume, length of conversation, hours spent on the Platform, and other related data. We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose anonymized non-PII to third parties for any purpose, including but not limited to improving our Services or our Platform, generating support for CTL, or as required by law. To see how we use learnings and techniques to put more empathy in the world, read about our Data Philosophy.

Usage Information
We may collect and analyze non-PII through third-party applications and services (such as Amplitude, FrontEnd, Storagize, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager), about how CTL staff and Volunteers use the Platform, which may include screen resolution or general usage information. This information, which may be collected in the form of cookies, local browser storage, or similar features, helps us improve the Platform. (For information on Google Analytics, please visit www.google.com/policies/privacy.) 

Retention of Information
CTL retains data for the purposes described above. We retain data we collect from Volunteers indefinitely, so that we may continue to use to improve our Services, communicate with you regarding your volunteer activities on behalf of CTL, among other reasons within the scope of these Terms. 

How We Protect Your Personally Identifiable Information
CTL cares about you and the security of your PII. We take reasonable security precautions, including encryption, administrative, technical, and physical measures, to protect your PII from loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. We store all information on servers and we only permit approved CTL employees and third party service providers to access those servers pursuant to the practices described above. However, perfect security does not exist anywhere. Although we take appropriate measures to safeguard against unauthorized disclosures of information, we cannot assure you that your PII will never be disclosed in a manner inconsistent with this policy, and make no representations or warranties regarding the sufficiency of our security measures to prevent unauthorized access or interception by third parties.

You Should Also Protect Yourself
Always be careful and responsible regarding your PII. We are not responsible for, and cannot control, what others not affiliated with CTL do with information you provide to them. You may also choose to clear the Platform from your browser history to help further protect your confidentiality.

Access/Changes to Personally Identifiable Information
You may request access to or changes to PII of yours which we have stored by emailing legal@crisistextline.org. You will be asked to verify your identity in order for us to grant you access to or process changes to your PII. We will make reasonable efforts to process requests promptly, but may decline to process requests that are unreasonably repetitive, require unreasonable technical effort, jeopardize the privacy of you or others, are otherwise impractical, or which would conflict with a law enforcement matter. Additionally, we will decline to process requests if we believe preservation of your PII is necessary: (A) to comply with the law or in response to a subpoena, court order, government request, or other legal obligations; (B) to protect the interests, rights, safety, or property of CTL, its employees, agents, or volunteers; (C) to enforce our Terms; (D) in connection with a sale, merger, or change of control of CTL or its affiliates, or (E) to address fraud, security, technical issues, or to operate the Platform or its infrastructure systems properly.

California Privacy Rights
California Civil Code Section § 1798.83 permits users of the Platform that are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure (if any) of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please send an email to legal@crisistextline.org with “CA Privacy Rights” in the subject line, or write to us at: Crisis Text Line, Attn: Legal Dept., PO Box 1207, New York, NY 10113. 

Governing Law; International Users
These Terms, the Services, and our provision of the Platform are governed solely by, and shall be interpreted according to, the laws of the State of New York without giving effect to its conflicts of law rules. CTL and you both consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts located in the county of New York for any and all disputes arising out of or concerning these Terms. The Platform is primarily operated in the United States. If you are located outside of the United States, please be aware that any information you provide will be collected in or transferred to the United States. By using the Platform and/or providing us with your information, you consent to the collection and transfer of your information in or out of the United States as described in this policy. 

Severability; Entire Agreement
If a court finds any provision of these Terms to be invalid or unenforceable, that provision shall be enforced to the maximum extent possible and the remaining Terms shall remain in full force and effect. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between you and CTL, superseding any other oral agreements or understandings. 

Contact Us
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 have any questions or concerns about our Terms or the privacy and security practices described here, please contact: info@crisistextline.org. You may also mail a request to us at Crisis Text Line, PO Box 1207, New York, NY 10113.

For media inquiries, please email press@crisistextline.org.

In a crisis?

Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a volunteer Crisis Counselor

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