Domestic Violence FAQs
Recordkeeping & Personally Identifiable Information
Does the platform keep a record about each conversation? (e.g., date, time, IP address, phone number, etc.)
There is a feature to start a "Burner" chat which erases all records at the end of the chat, but for regular chats the authors and timestamps are recorded
Does the platform store transcripts of the conversation?
Yes, for non-Burner chats, but end-to-encrypted such that only the author and intended recipient(s) can decrypt it
Is any conversational related content included in the automatic backup process? (e.g., transcript, IP addresses, etc.)
Transcripts, but in an end-to-end encrypted form as previously indicated
Is data encrypted in transit? At rest?
Data is end-to-encrypted in transit and at rest (see cyph.com/castle for more information)
Can the vendor see personally identifying victim information?
If you use the appointment scheduler, the patient's name and email and/or phone number will be exposed to Cyph and the third party services indicated below, but otherwise no
Third-Party Services Used by Cyph
Does Cyph use hardware or services of a third-party company separate from their own?
Google Cloud, plus Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) for sending emails and Twilio for sending SMS messages
Will they share or release personally identifying victim data?
Potentially, to the extent that they have it
If yes, under what circumstances? How do they respond to requests from government, law enforcement, lawyers?
Generally they wouldn't, but I assume they would all share information with the government when subpoenaed to the extent that they are legally required to
Will they provide notice of a data breach?
Google: yes, Amazon: yes, Twilio: yes
Features & Support
Does the platform support emojis, pictures, and video? Can that be turned off?
Yes, and as-is no but we'd be happy to add a feature to disable this if specifically required
Does Cyph offer language translation? Is it provided by a machine or a person?
Currently no, but this would be possible in the future (in which case it would be machine-translated locally on the user's device using TensorFlow)
Can you set up “canned” or cut-and- paste messages?
Currently, not exactly, but we have a Notes feature that could be used in a similar manner
Are there indicators that someone is typing? (e.g., “Matt is typing…”)
Not by default, but there are in Burner chats; we could provide an option to disable this if needed
Is there cross-platform integration? (e.g., can a survivor reach out through text, social media, and secure chat, etc.)
We have a posts feature (like tweeting), and the next update will add a way to cross-post to other social media platforms
Do survivors need to download an app in order to use the platform?
Do survivors need to create a user account, profile, or screen name?
No, counselors can schedule appointments or send Burner links, and survivors can anonymously go to a Cyph profile (e.g. cyph.me/cyph) and click the Live Burner Chat Request button to start a chat without divulging their names or contact information
Can you access personally identifying data about survivors at any time?
No, except to the extent that names, email addresses, and phone numbers are stored in the logs of the firstname.lastname@example.org Gmail account and Twilio (if counselors opt to use the appointment scheduling feature)
Can you delete it at any time? Can you assign different access levels to users (advocates, managers, etc.)?
No, although we can delete email logs in Gmail, and Twilio may be willing to delete their logs upon request
What is the time frame for receiving Technical support & troubleshooting?
Typically very quick, rarely more than a day
Is there any limit on the number of users from your program?
No, but pricing is per user (counselors/staff, not joining survivors)
What Internet bandwidth is required to use the platform?
No hard minimum; for the best performance broadband is recommended, but Cyph still works acceptably when testing with Google Chrome's "slow 3G" simulator (~400 Kbps)
What is their record regarding system downtime? What are their plans in case of unexpected downtime?
Downtime incidents are very infrequent and usually short-lived, and partially mitigated by our WebSign technology storing a full copy of the Cyph web application locally; that said, here is more information: Google Cloud, Amazon, Twilio
Will their regular maintenance impact your services?
No/minimally; Google Cloud and Amazon SES have no planned downtime, and Twilio's maintenance causes delays rather than dropped messages
Updated on: 05/24/2023