Every year, Mozilla compiles a list of connected devices for its “Privacy Not Included” report where it ranks gadgets based on their “creepiness” and reveals which product met the basic security standards.
Since the holiday season is nearing, this handy shopping guide will help you identify which connected gadgets and toys are secure and trustworthy and choose gifts that protect the privacy of your friends and family.
Mozilla reviewed a total of 76 popular gifts available for purchase in the United States across six categories: Toys & Games; Smart Home; Entertainment; Wearables; Health & Exercise; and Pets.
The guide showcases a Creep-O-Meter, an interactive tool that lets shoppers rate the creepiness of a product using an emoji sliding scale from “Not Creepy” to “Super Creepy.”
Most Creepy Gadgets In 2019
Amazon, Facebook, and Google products made it to the top slots of Mozilla’s super creepy gadget list.
For instance, Google Home met Mozilla’s security standards but was rated “super creepy” by users owing to the fact that Google can target users based on data it gathers on them through their search history, location data and more. Google’s Nest Hub Max was also dubbed as “very creepy,” but not as much as the Google Home.
One name which is not all surprising in the super creepy gadget list is Facebook’s Portal. What is surprising though is the fact that it somehow managed to hit all of Mozilla’s basic security markers.
Since Portal works only by connecting it to Facebook and anyone can see why it’s not a great idea to bring a Facebook device home — keeping the company’s spectacularly poor track record of protecting user data in mind.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s Echo Show, Ring Indoor Cam, Ring Security Cam fell under the super creepy category. Other products such as Smart Plug, Fire TV, Fire HD Kids Edition, Fire HD Tablet, Echo smart speakers, were all rated lesser degrees of creepy by users.
Amazon’s Kindle managed to score a “not creepy” rating, however, Ring and the Echo Show were the worst offenders on the list.
Non Creepy Gadgets In 2019
Gadgets like the Nintendo Switch and the Sonos One SL were voted “not creepy.” Meanwhile, popular Apple products such as Airpods, iPad, and Apple TV were ranked as “little creepy.”
They all met Mozilla’s security standards, but the three Apple products had some capabilities that could allow a bad actor to spy on users either through a microphone, camera, location tracking, or all three.