November 19, 2019

Is your gift secretly spying? Mozilla ranks tech security in holiday shopping list


In the age of connected devices, more gadgets than ever have the ability to spy on you or share your info with third parties. So if you’re planning on buying the hottest or latest tech product for someone this holiday season, it might be a good idea to check out its privacy policy before you give it to someone.

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser, shared a ‘Privacy Not Included’ gift list to give an idea of how much data certain gadgets collect with or without your knowledge. Based on this, it ranks each gift on a scale from ‘a little creepy’ to ‘super creepy’ with a corresponding emoji.

The guide includes 70 products, and only 32 got Mozilla’s badge for meeting minimum security standards. Mozilla says, ‘To receive a badge, products must: use encryption; have automatic security updates; manage security vulnerabilities using tools like bug bounty programs and clear points of contact; and require users to change the default password if a password is required.’


When ranking creepiness, the company also considers things like the readability of the products privacy policy, whether it automatically deletes info about you and the reasons it shares your data with third parties.

You can check the list below for some ranking examples. Note that CNET didn’t independently test or verify these claims.

    • Peloton Bike — somewhat creepy
    • Hidrate Spark 2.0 Water Bottle — very creepy
    • Fredi Baby Monitor — super creepy

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