Privacy considerations when predicting mental health using social media

Tian Wang, Masooda Bashir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years the number of individuals struggling with mental illness has increased, and traditional mental health services are now considered insufficient under the current circumstances which has prompted researchers to develop new approaches for mental healthcare. Social media usage is growing, and it is been utilized to help provide additional insight on mental health by using the information shared by individuals, as well as data taken from their social media activity. While this approach may provide a unique and effective perspective for mental health services, it is critical that privacy risks and protections are considered in the process. Social media services collect, process, and stores a substantial amount of information about its users and how that information is shared as well as what type of predictions are made may pose serious privacy concerns. This study aims to understand how privacy is addressed and emphasized during the process of using social media data for mental healthcare by constructing a systematic review on previous scholarly papers related to the topic. Solove's taxonomy of privacy is used to evaluate these publications privacy considerations and to demonstrate the privacy risks that may arise when social media data is used for mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere244
JournalProceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • mental health
  • privacy considerations
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Library and Information Sciences


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