Mozilla has released a list of connected devices that it deems “Privacy Not Included” gadgets based on creepiness and their lacking of basic security standards.
While the report is supposed to forewarn users on what not to buy in the holiday shopping, it also help to identify which connected devices and gadgets are trustworthy and protect the privacy of their customers.
According to Mozilla, most of the smart home devices from Google, Amazon and Facebook posed some privacy risks, with the likes of Amazon Ring, haven been compromised in the past, and it's capable of eavesdropping using GPS data, also it remains unclear if users can delete data that are accumulated on the device.
Mozilla also cited similar issue with the Amazon Ring Indoor Cam, noting that stored customer data such as video recordings are not encrypted on Amazon cloud server and access could be gained on any of these data by its employees. Along with some other Ring products, the security cam was dinged by Mozilla for creepy policies around privacy and as Amazon aren't as transparent as they would like them to be about their data retention and deletion policies.
In the reports, Mozilla reviewed total of 76 gadgets which are available for purchase across six main categories: Smart Home, Toys & Games, Entertainment, Health & Exercise, Wearables and Pets.
The new cutting-edge technology of wearables: functional smart devices that can track your steps, monitor heart rate, or even help you to manage pain. But, it’s very important to note that these devices also collect lots of data about you and your daily activities.
Mozilla indicted the Apple Airpods, stating that "they know when they're in your ear, when you take them out, when you're talking--Hey Siri!--and when you're listening. They connect to your iPhone and your Apple Watch at the same time, so you can...get confused about which device is playing? These earbuds sound almost too smart for their own good". Either they are or really magical as Apple claims.
It scores the devices using interactive tool that allow shoppers to rate the creepiness of the products using emoji sliding scale ranging from Not Creepy to Super Creepy.
Albeit, Google Home passed Mozilla’s security standards, it was still rated “super creepy” by users because of the fact that Google target users data through search history, location and many more sources. Also, Google’s Nest Hub Max was dubbed as “very creepy” which is less that what the Google Home was rated.
Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch and Sonos One SL were rated as “not creepy” as they passed Mozilla’s privacy standards, though the three Apple products had some privacy concerns that could allow someone to spy on users via the microphone, camera, and location tracking.