In the United States and Canada, Black Friday is held the day after Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday in November. This day traditionally marks the beginning of the end-of-year purchasing period. In order to help consumers to choose the best gift, the Mozilla Foundation has published its third annual evaluation presenting a selection of smart devices that are particularly appreciated by the general public: speakers, headsets, watches, game consoles, drones, etc.
A total of 77 products are listed on the foundation’s website. Mozilla verified for each product whether security requirement were very well implemented according to 5 well-defined criteria: data storage, secure updates, complex passwords, vulnerability management, or whether the product offers specific documentation on personal data protection. Mozilla has therefore examined the way in which manufacturers protect or exploit personal data. In the published list, a smiley characterizes each set of solutions by issuing a “not creepy”, “a little creepy”, “pretty creepy”, “very creepy” or “super creepy” opinion.
Products that meet the five criteria defined by Mozilla are issued with Mozilla’s “Minimum Security Standards” badge. This is the case for the Nintendo Switch system, the PS4 or the Apple Watch 5. On the other hand, Mozilla points to Google Home, Facebook Portal and Amazon Echo Show and the Ring bells. Among the major problems encountered, three trends stand out. First of all, the difficulty in obtaining information. Many companies do not communicate about their privacy. At the same time, users are not sufficiently aware of the security issues of the Internet of Things. Finally, these solutions capture a lot of personal data that is sent to online servers.
The list published by Mozilla is intended to raise awareness among future consumers. Security experts hoped that manufacturers and consumers will become aware of the security challenges introduced by the democratisation of the Internet of Things.