Welcome to Mozilla’s first-ever Annual Consumer Creep-O-Meter
In 2023, the state of our digital privacy is very creepy
In numbers, that translates to 75.6/100, with 100 being the most creepy. Our annual benchmark measures the current state of digital privacy — and what direction it’s trending.
Determine your Digital Privacy Footprint
In addition to the Annual Consumer Creep-O-Meter score, you can also take a quiz to determine your own privacy footprint.
Below, select which popular products you own. We’ll weigh their privacy features and flaws, then show how well or poorly your devices and apps protect your personal information.
Mozilla’s Annual Consumer Creep-O-Meter distills what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s just plain creepy in the world of consumer tech.
Since 2017, Mozilla has published 15 editions of *Privacy Not Included, our consumer tech buyers guide. We’ve reviewed over 500 gadgets, apps, cars, and more, assessing their security features, what data they collect, and who they share that data with.
In 2023, we compared our most recent findings with those of the past five years. It quickly became clear that products and companies are collecting more personal data than ever before — and then using that information in shady ways.
Big Picture Trends
What’s the state of consumer privacy in 2023? Here’s the big picture:
Products are getting more secure, but also a lot less private.
More companies are meeting Mozilla’s Minimum Security Standards like using encryption and providing automatic software updates. That’s good news.
But at the same time, companies are collecting and sharing users’ personal data like never before. And that’s bad news. Many companies now view their hardware or software as a means to an end: collecting that coveted personal data for targeted advertising and training AI.
The mental health app BetterHelp shares your data with advertisers, social media platforms, and sister companies.
An increasing number of products can’t be used offline.
Privacy policies are getting ridiculous.
Legalese, ambiguity, and policies that sprawl across multiple documents and URLs are the status quo. And it’s getting worse, not better. Companies use these policies as a shield, not an actual resource for consumers.
Best & Worst Products
We researched 172 products in 2023 and late 2022. These are our winners and losers.
By The Numbers
Consumer privacy, by the numbers. In 2023 and late 2022:
100% of cars reviewed by Mozilla failed to meet our privacy and security standards
40% of the mental health apps reviewed have gotten worse on privacy and security since 2022
12 products earned our Best of Badge
>90% of products now feature microphones and/or cameras
50% of products received our *PNI warning label
Almost 5 Hours of reading time is required to review all of the privacy documents for the Meta Quest Pro VR headset
Stay in Control
Consumers still have agency in the consumer tech space. Here’s what you can do:
Maximize Your Security
Consumers should enable every security feature that’s available to them. That means choosing unique, strong passwords, and always turning on two-factor authentication.
Many products automatically opt you into data collection and sharing. But if you poke around in the settings, you can often scale back what’s being collected and shared. You can also opt to disable features like Amazon Alexa, further minimizing data collection.
The Annual Consumer Creep-O-Meter is calculated using both quantitative and qualitative measures. Our researchers average together findings from our 2023 and late 2022 *Privacy Not Included editions, each of which entails hundreds of hours of research. In 2023 and late 2022, we published three editions and one research report covering 172 different products, from cars and mental health apps to fitness trackers and kids toys.
Our researchers also assess broader industry trends and developments, like privacy legislation and enforcement, factoring them into the score.
Learn more about our methodology.
Thanks for visiting Mozilla’s first-ever annual Consumer Creep-O-Meter
We’ll publish this each year going forward, providing a long-term look at how the consumer privacy landscape is changing. In the meantime, stay tuned for the next edition of *Privacy Not Included this November, covering the most popular connected gifts.