Security Researchers Reveal Most Creepy Tech Gifts In 2022 & The Most Privacy-Friendly Choices

It’s the season to be jolly and shop for gifts but what about you and your and your loved ones’ privacy?

With consumer technology becoming more and more intrusive when it comes to your personal data, Mozilla released a new report about the privacy policies of some of the most popular tech gifts.

What are the least private gadgets?

Unsurprisingly so, Mozilla’s Privacy Not Included report mentions the devices made by companies like Meta, Amazon and Google. 

Meta’s Portal pictured above, Amazon’s Halo Rise or Halo Band and Google’s Fitbit Versa 4 are among some of the worst culprits when it comes to data policies.

“Meta/Facebook appears to be one of most immoral companies we review in *Privacy Not Included.

This is the starting point for a device you bring into your home with an AI-powered smart camera and microphone that sends data back to Meta/Facebook regularly,” says Mozilla, not holding back anything when it comes to presenting the Meta Portal.

But what should you choose when giving gadgets as gifts this holiday season?

Obviously, if privacy is a concern for you, you should stay away from any device that comes with a voice assistant or camera capabilities.

Instead, if you scroll through Mozilla’s list, there are plenty of tech gifts that will bring joy, without the creepy factor.

After endless scrolls, we picked five of the best privacy-oriented tech gifts anyone would be happy to receive. Which one would make your bucket list?

You can also scroll through Mozilla’s least with a nifty “Sort by least creepiness” option and find more ideas.

Garmin Fenix or Garmin Epix smartwatches

Both the Garmin Fenix and the Garmin Epix smartwatches rank high in Mozilla’s list of the most secure and private gadgets.

Not only are these some of the best smartwatches of 2022 and would make a luxurious gift for a loved one but Garmin also seems to have invested in your privacy.

“Yes, they do collect a good bit of personal information through the device and on the Garmin Connect app because that’s what a fitness tracking smartwatch does. They collect data like email address, device information, location, and all that body related data like physical activity, stress, sleep patterns, heat rate, pulse ox, and more. The good thing is, yes, they collect it, but they also seem to protect it,” says Mozilla.

Pocketbook ebook reader, a device with Ukrainian roots

While obviously Amazon can siphon off most of your data when you use a Kindle, since it’s their own ebook reader well integrated into their ecosystem, there is a good ebook reader you could go for instead.

According to Mozilla, the Pocketbook ebook reader, made by a company founded in Kyiv, Ukraine, does not collect any personal information about their users.
Even Mozilla is amazed by the existence of a device that, in 2022, does not collect this type of user data. Instead, the Pocketbook only collects usage data in order to give you reading recommendations.

Since Pocketbook makes a lot of ebook readers, including the beautiful InkPad Color that can also playback mp3s (and audiobooks!), we strongly recommend you add this one to your shopping cart this holiday season.

Netatmo Video Doorbell, which doesn’t record video to the cloud

Mozilla also found one of the rarest beasts when it comes to tech: a smart doorbell camera that doesn’t send your videos to the cloud AND doesn’t come with a subscription fee.

According to their security researchers, the Netatmo smart indoor camera saves everything to a microSD card, despite having some advanced facial recognition functionality. 

That facial recognition software also comes with the gift of trust – you can let the camera know which faces to recognize and, once it does so, it won’t record them at all. If you have pets at home and want to ask friends or family members to look after them while they’re gone, this Netatmo camera with 2-way audio and a privacy-first approach would be the perfect gift for yourself this holiday season.

What about you, did you see anything in Mozilla’s list of tech gifts that’s both privacy-friendly and super useful? Share your tips in the comments!

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Security Researchers Reveal Most Creepy Tech Gifts In 2022 & The Most Privacy-Friendly Choices
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