These days, even your teddy bear might be out to get you.
As the inevitable creep of “smart” features and products continues to turn everything from your refrigerator to your thermostat into a connected device, it’s worth taking a moment to consider just what you’re giving up in exchange for this wannabe Jetsons future. Thankfully, Mozilla has done a lot of that work for you with a new guide dedicated to just how insecure many smart devices are.
It’s right in time for the end-of-year shopping season, meaning you have no excuse to buy your parents one of these potentially compromised electronic gadgets as a holiday gift. And, if you send them the guide, they won’t have an excuse for buying you one, either.
The Privacy Not Included guide, released Nov. 14, takes a look at a range of products and evaluates them on a host of basic security standards. After all, you should know if a company is publicizing your fitness tracker data, or if your internet-connected sex toy can be easily hacked.
According to Mozilla, there are five minimum things that a product or company must do in order to avoid being a complete privacy disaster for its customers.
The categories of products rated — toys and games, smart home, entertainment, wearables, health and exercise, and pets — cover much of the connected-gadget space, and make it clear that Mozilla isn’t playing nice.
Take, for example, its description of the Amazon Echo Show and Dot. “Now you don’t just get to wonder if Alexa is listening to you, you get to wonder if she’s watching as well.”
A nifty infographic breaks it down even further.
Mozilla also took the unique approach of asking people to vote on a product’s creepiness factor. For example, 61 percent of people who voted on the Amazon Echo Show and Dot said it was “super creepy,” and 80 percent said they were “not likely to buy it.”
Importantly, Mozilla didn’t just do this to dunk on smart device manufacturers. Rather, the non-profit was actually trying to put some power back in the hands of consumers.
“We hope this guide helps consumers make smart and more informed holiday shopping decisions,” explained Mozilla’s vice president of advocacy Ashley Boyd in a press release, “while also inspiring them to demand that companies make it a priority to offer products that protect their privacy and security.”
Here’s to hoping that consumer demand, armed with Mozilla’s guide, doesn’t fall on deaf corporate ears.