Here are the safest gadgets for privacy according to Mozilla

Posted at 11:07 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 23:26:36-05

(WXYZ) — Mozilla has released its annual holiday ranking of the best gadgets with privacy and security features.

The report reveals which tech gadgets are secure and trustworthy, and which are not.

According to a release, researchers with Mozilla reviewed 76 popular gadgets across six categories: Toys & Games; Smart Home; Entertainment; Wearables; Health & Exercise; and Pets.

View the list of gadgets here.

*Privacy Not Included highlights include:

  • 62 products were awarded a badge for meeting the Minimum Security Standards created by Mozilla, Internet Society and Consumer International. To receive a badge, products must: use encryption; have automatic security updates; feature strong password mechanics; manage security vulnerabilities; and offer accessible privacy policies. A star rating near the top of each product page shows how well each product does on the Minimum Security Standards. Products meeting Minimum Security Requirements include: Nintendo Switch, Apple Watch 5, Amazon Fire Kids HD, and Disney Frozen 2 Coding Kit
  • Eight products did not meet the Minimum Security Standards: the Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Indoor Cam, Ring Security Cams, Wemo Wifi Smart Dimmer, Artie 3000 Coding Robot, Litter Robot 3 Connect, OurPets SmartScoop Intelligent Litter Box and Petsafe Smart Pet Feeder
  • Mozilla was not able to make a conclusive determination whether six products met Minimum Security Standards. This was based on factors like a company not responding to researchers’ inquiries; or if a company’s response conflicted with recent independent security audits or reports from penetration testers. These products are Wagz Serve Smart Feeder, Petzi Treat Cam, Star Wars Boost Droid Commander, Link AKC Smart Collar, PetCube Bites 2, and Instant Pot Smart Wifi

Top trends identified by Mozilla researchers include:

  • Good on security, questionable on privacy: Many of the big tech companies like Apple and Google are doing pretty well at securing their products. But even when devices are secure, they can still collect a lot of data about users. This year saw an expansion of smart home ecosystems from big tech companies, allowing companies like Amazon to reach deeper into user’s lives. Customer data is also being used in ways users may not have anticipated, even if it’s stated in the privacy policy. For instance, Ring users may not realize their videos are being used in marketing campaigns and that photos of all visitors are stored on servers.
  • Small companies are not doing so well on privacy and security: Smaller companies often do not have the resources to prioritize the privacy and security of their products. Many of the products in the pet category, for example, seem weak on privacy and security. Mozilla could only confirm four of the 13 products meet our Minimum Security Standards. The $500 Litter Robot 3 Connect didn’t even have a privacy policy for the device or the app the device uses. Also, it appears to use the default password “neverscoop” to connect the device to WiFi.
  • Privacy policy readability is improving: Companies are making strides in how they present privacy information, with a lot more privacy pages — like those by Roomba and Apple — being written in simple, accessible language and housed in one central place.
  • Products are becoming more privacy friendly, but sometimes at a cost to consumers: Sonos removed the microphone for the Sonos One SL to make it more privacy-friendly, while Parrot, which made one of the creepiest products in the 2018 guide, launched the Anafi drone, which met the Minimum Security Standards. However, Parrot left the low end consumer market: the Anafi drone costs $700.