It’s that time of year again when we start to think about holiday gifts and Black Friday shopping. So as any good privacy pro knows, the Mozilla *privacy not included guide is the place to go to learn about the “creepiness” of the latest toy or gift that you are looking to buy.
This year, the guide reviews 151 products from smart toys to exercise equipment and provides lots of information related to the privacy features of each product. The purpose of the guide is to share information regarding the privacy and data collection practices for the smart products. Clicking on a particular product reviewed on the website will provide a summary of the product’s data collection and privacy policies and the guide’s rating for the product. Users also are able to vote and rate products along a “creepiness” scale, ranging from “not creepy” to “super creepy.”
Mozilla’s press release for the 2021 guide noted that “researchers spent more than 950 hours reviewing the 151 connected gifts across six categories: smart home, toys and games, entertainment, wearables, health and exercise, and pets.” The guide even reviews video call apps and dating apps. This year Mozilla identified 47 products that are branded with their “Privacy Not Included” warning label. Mozilla also identified 22 products in their “Best of” category that “do a good job of protecting your privacy and security.”
The guide does a lot of the hard work for you in finding and reading privacy policies. The guide also answers important privacy questions about whether a product can snoop on you, whether an email address is required to sign up, what personal data the device collects, how the company uses the data it collects, how you can control your data, the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data, whether the product can be used offline, and whether the privacy information is user-friendly. The guide also provides links to available privacy policies for each of the products reviewed.