Why it matters: Black Friday is almost upon us. Shoppers and stores are starting to draw up their holiday shopping lists. It is also the season for buying guides from everyone from Nintendo to TechSpot. Mozilla is not one that releases holiday shopping guides much, but this year it has an interesting one.
Most lists focus on which products are the best bargains. Some rank the hottest items of the season. Mozilla decided to take a different approach and posted a shopping guide based on how secure different popular devices are.
It is titled “Privacy Not Included” and looks at whether devices could be used to spy on you. To make this assessment Mozilla looked at things like privacy policies, encryption, and tracking capabilities.
The main page lists all the products it evaluated. At the top of the list is an emoji that changes as you scroll down the page to indicate the "creepiness" of the items on the screen. Note that the creep factor is determined by user vote and does not necessarily reflect Mozilla’s evaluation.
By comparison, the Mycroft Mark 1 smart speaker found itself third on the list, even though Mozilla gave it better marks overall than the Switch. It goes to show that the popularity of a product is also a factor when you allow users to rank how creepy it is.
Using the guide is simple. Just click an item, and it will take you to a page with a detailed rundown on the security features and policies of the product. There you can also rank the item’s creepiness using a slider and vote whether you would purchase the device or not.
If you are curious about anything on your Christmas list check out the guide to see how it ranks. Mozilla’s lineup is not exhaustive, but there are 70 popular items including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Kindle, iPad, Apple TV and even household smart appliances. So you might find some useful information in there.