I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that many people this 2017 holiday season will be getting or giving some sort of connected device. When you think about it, with electronics becoming smaller and less expensive, more and more manufacturers are figuring out creative ways to add connectivity to a wide variety of devices. From toys to speakers to smartphones to home automation to appliances to just about anything, the Internet of Things is here, and there is a huge push to connect everything with anything. And while connected things open up new opportunities and capabilities, it also potentially enables companies to do things you might not want them to do, like have access to private data, location information, or even audio and video. And you might not even know this is happening. But while some gadgets are clearly labeled with “batteries not included,” not many are showing anything like “privacy not included.” Mozilla is doing something about this, you’ll be happy to know, with their appropriately named holiday buyer’s guide: *Privacy Not Included. Read on to learn more! (*Disclosure below.)
When it comes to the world of connected gadgets and devices, there truly isn’t that much regulation from privacy and security standpoints. And often, it is up to the consumer to understand what devices connect to what services and know how their data is being used. Often, companies make it difficult to know how information is shared, or they may not disclose it at all. While smartphone and tablet apps do have increased scrutiny by Apple or Google, for example, in terms of how the data is accessed and used, and the types of services used (location, media, data, etc.), outside of the app itself, it’s a wild, wild world.