MOZILLA RELEASED A LIST OF THE CREEPIEST GADGETSDate: 2018-11-15
While the list isn't comprehensive, Mozilla looked at 70 popular items and found that a little over 25 of them meet the minimum security standards. The most secure gadgets are; the Nintendo Switch, a Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit that mixes wand magic and teaching kids how to code, and an open-source smart speaker called Mycroft Mark 1.
The PlayStation 4, as well as Apple's AirPods, did well on the test, too, but they get dinged for having privacy policies that are difficult to decipher as well as unexpected data sharing with third parties. The Xbox One also loses points for the same unexpected data sharing. (creepy)
"Sometimes consumers don't recognize that their gifts are connected to the internet. Now they can make purchasing decisions based on privacy. It's part of our work to start conversations about online privacy," Ashley Boyd, Mozilla’s VP of advocacy, explains. "One thing we've noticed is that for a lot of the products in the current guide, we couldn't figure out whether they met the minimum security guidelines because the information wasn't available on companies' websites."
On the other side of the privacy spectrum, you have companies like Amazon and Google. The Google Home can track you through its connected app and share data with third parties for unexpected reasons, the report says. Mozilla also notes that the Google Home listens in on your conversations, although, as a smart speaker, it's hard to see what else it's supposed to do.
The report also includes users' feedback on whether they find a device "super creepy" or "not creepy." Mozilla, however, does not verify whether people have used the products before they vote, so the votes are mainly based on people's existing impressions and Mozilla's privacy report.
From last year's results, Mozilla says it's been in discussions with manufacturers who have reached out, and in some cases, adjusted, their privacy policies and upgraded security. In another campaign, Mozilla asked Amazon to provide more information on how data was being collected through the Echo Dot for Kids. While Amazon did provide more information after the inquiry, Mozilla says it's still in talks to get more clarity on how the data is stored.