Which ones are listening to you right now?
Mozilla Foundation, maker of web browser Firefox, has created a tech shopping guide based on how much digital devices and gadgets encroach on your privacy.
Mozilla used a set of minimum security standards to vet 70 popular products, and you can see which ones did and did not pass muster here. The foundation also let users weigh in on a “Creep-O-Meter” for each item, an interactive tool to rate products on a scale of “super creepy” to “not creepy.” Users can also indicate whether or not they are likely to buy the product. (A product can be considered “super creepy” and still pass Mozilla’s security standards.)
More than 2,500 ratings on creepiness have been submitted since late October. Rankings are based on the proportion of votes within each creepy level.
The creepiest tech products
Right up next were the Amazon Cloud Cam Security Camera, Amazon Echo Show and Spot, and Amazon Echo and Dot. The Google Home Hub was also considered “very creepy,” as were the Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera, the DJI Technology Spark Selfie Drone, and the CogniToys Dino, a wifi-connected device that can listen to children’s questions. The majority of voters said they were not likely to buy these products.
The somewhat creepy tech products
For these items, the majority of voters rated them as “somewhat creepy” or the votes were spread widely enough for the item to still fall somewhere in the middle. The Amazon Fire HD Tablet made it into this category, as did many toys, such as the Seedling Parker Teddy Bear (a toy controlled with an iPhone app that makes use of augmented reality), and the Wonder Workshop’s Dash the Robot (a Bluetooth-controlled bot that connects to kid-friendly educational apps).
Some smart speakers made it into this segment, such as the Sonos One and Apple Homepod, along with fitness accessories including the Garmin Vivosport fitness tracker, Fitbit Versa Watch, and Samsung Gear Sport.
The least creepy tech products
Users seem to be least freaked out by the Nintendo Switch, which takes the title of least creepy of them all. The majority of voters found it “not creepy” and 78% said they are likely to buy it. It probably helps that even though the console can be connected to the internet, it doesn’t have a built-in microphone, camera, or other trackers. Other consoles like the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One were also rated among the least creepy.
You can find ratings and rankings for all 70 items here.