Why We Made This Guide
Welcome to Mozilla’s *Privacy Not Included buyer’s guide. Our goal is to help you shop smart—and safe—for products that connect to the internet.
In 2017, when we first started *Privacy Not Included, we didn’t know if people would be interested in a guide about the privacy and security of connected toys, gadgets, and smart home products. Turns out, they were. And it wasn’t just people who were interested. We discovered some companies were too. We’re happy to see both consumers and companies increasingly value connected products that are safe, secure, and private.
Unfortunately, It is often difficult for consumers to get clear, concrete information from companies about the security and privacy of their connected products. Is your personal data shared or sold in ways you may not have expected? What is the company’s known track record for protecting the personal information they collect on you? How does the company regularly test for and fix security vulnerabilities?
With this guide, we hope to help you navigate this landscape by understanding what questions you should ask and what answers you should expect before buying a connected tech product.
The way we approach our research here at *Privacy Not Included is from the viewpoint of you, the consumer. We just have a bit more time and expertise to read privacy policies and delve into company’s security practices. We don’t purchase the products and test them in a lab. Consumers can’t do that. Instead, we look at all the information we can find that is publicly available to consumers before they purchase a product to try and understand the privacy and security concerns you should be aware of. We seek a future in which hours of research like this aren’t required to buy safe, responsible products. Unfortunately, it seems we have a long way to go. In the meantime, we’ll read those boring privacy policies so you don’t have to.
What can you expect in our guide to help you shop safely for those connected products? Quite a few things.
Our *Privacy Not Included warning label
We’re very excited our *Privacy Not Included buyer’s guide comes with *Privacy Not Included warning labels on products we think consumers should think twice about before buying. It’s no small thing to assign such a label to a product, so we set ourselves some strict standards. Where we have concerns, we aim to be as specific as possible about what could happen so you can buy products that meet your standards.
Our Best Of category
It’s one thing to call out products that are bad. We also want to help consumers know what products are good. Check out our Best Of category to see which products and companies we think are doing privacy and security right.
There is a Creep-O-Meter
We want you to be able to share your opinion too. It’s important for companies and other consumers to see which products people think are safe, and which products people feel are a bit creepy. So we created our Creep-O-Meter—a user rating on each product—to let you share your opinion. Companies are paying attention, so let them know if you think their product is creepy or not!
Our Minimum Security Standards
Tons of Research
You’ll notice a lot of research went into this guide. We even include the hours we spent researching a product on every page. Fortunately, we have great researchers and expertise here at Mozilla to dig into this so you don’t have to. We don’t buy and test products. Instead we look at what we can find that is publicly available. Our researchers comb through privacy policies, reach out to companies with questions about encryption and bug bounty programs, sift through product and app specifications, and read the research and news articles written about the products in the past three years. We do our best to then make your access to all this information accessible and easy to understand. We’ve even put together a How to Use This Guide page to help you understand all the information we share here on *Privacy Not Included.
We hope you use this guide to help you think about, shop for, and buy products from companies that show they value privacy and security. Then share it with your friends and family to help them shop safe too. We as consumers need to demand that privacy and security as a value from the people who build our products. It’s how we’ll start to make the internet, and our lives, a bit safer in this digital world. That is our goal every day here at Mozilla.
We hope you use and enjoy this guide to help you think about, shop for, and buy products from companies that show they value privacy and security. We as consumers need to demand that value from the people who build our products. It’s how we’ll start to make the internet, and our lives, a bit safer in this digital world. That is our goal every day here at Mozilla.
The *Privacy Not Included Team
Mozilla fights daily for a healthier internet as a non-profit tech company that puts people before profit. This guide was created by the Mozilla Foundation which relies on donations from people like you to do our work. You can also visit Mozilla.org to learn more about our purpose driven products like Firefox and Common Voice.
For any questions about the guide or to offer constructive feedback, please email [email protected]