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These tech gifts will make you feel safer (and better) about gifting this holiday season

‘Tis the season to spread joy and thoughtful gifts, but in this digital age, it’s crucial to consider the privacy and security of our loved ones. Enter Mozilla’s “*Privacy Not Included” tool — your guide to tech gifts that not only bring smiles but also ensure privacy and security. 

Mozilla published this shopping companion tool in 2017 to help customers identify products that meet their privacy and security needs. It’s hard to get clear information from companies about the security and privacy of their connected products — who has time to read every single word in the privacy policies for every product out there? That is where Mozilla comes in, we have read up on every product. This guide hopefully provides you a way to navigate it by understanding what questions you should ask and what answers you should get before buying a tech product. Questions like, “What is the company’s track record for protecting the personal information they collect on you?” for starters.

We’ve got a bunch of smart people at Mozilla that dive deep into all the info for this guide. They’ve spent hours upon hours diving through privacy policies, hitting up companies with questions, and sorting through product and app details. What’s cool about it: It’s easily laid out — look through our How to Use This Guide page.

“It’s mind-numbing (researching private policies), and we do it so that so many people don’t have to because they’re very confusing,” Jen Caltrider, leader of the *Privacy Not Included guide, adds. “We sometimes have a hard time deciphering and understanding them, and so I feel bad for people that don’t read them all day every day to try to understand them.

“We try and approach it as consumers would if they had lots of time and had read lots of privacy policies so they knew what to look for.”

Let’s unwrap the perfect presents for a tech-savvy and privacy-conscious holiday season!

Mental Health

Gift idea: Finch: Self Care Pet

Why: A self-care app can be super helpful for anybody during these times. Finch’s pet friend, one that you’re responsible for, gives some cool self-care activities like breathing exercises, motivational quotes and mood check-ins. When it comes to privacy, Finch is graded as “pretty OK” from our team — that’s better than terrible! — just be ready to make a lot of decisions about privacy within the app when getting started.

Also: It’s important to remember that while these types of mental health apps are helpful, they’re not a substitute for professional care.

Fitness Trackers

Gift idea: Garmin Index Smart Scale

Why: You can help your loved ones stay healthy while respecting their privacy with Garmin’s Index Smart Scale. This product delivers advanced health and fitness metrics — weight, body mass index, body fat, skeletal muscle mass and more — without compromising personal data. If you’re looking for a gadget to pair with it, try Garmin’s Forerunner Series watch. Both of these items get the green light from our *Privacy Not Included team, too, providing a secure and active lifestyle for those close to you.

Smart Home Cameras

Gift idea: Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera

Why: Let’s be honest for a second: There’s a plethora of video doorbells out there to choose from, but not many of them take security and privacy seriously. This one from Ecobee isn’t perfect, but it’s also not terrible, and our researchers have faith they care about protecting privacy — “we really do think they are pretty good at protecting and respecting their users’ privacy (especially compared to many of the Big Tech companies out there).” They have the Ecobee SmartCamera to keep an eye on your home as well. If you’re gifting someone a smart camera, these are solid options. Just make sure they don’t use Alexa.

Kids’ Tech

Gift idea: iRobot Root

Why: A coding robot for kids? Yes, please! iRobot, which makes those popular Roomba’s your cats are so fascinated by, has a cool vacuum cleaner for kids six and up that helps them learn to code by programming the robot for its different functions. These get a thumbs up from our researchers. iRobot seems to be taking the act of protecting users’ privacy seriously, too. Just a heads-up, though: Amazon is in the process of buying iRobot. We’re still not sure what that means for privacy, but for this children’s coding kit, hopefully nothing scary. 


Gift idea: Apple AirPods & AirPods Pro

Why: A superb pair of headphones has always been invaluable whether you’re traveling or just sitting at home. If you’d like to elevate the music or podcast experience for somebody, Apple’s AirPods are a decent option. Regardless if it’s AirPods, AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, Apple has a pretty good record when it comes to privacy and security, according to our researchers. You should be OK. 

Gaming Consoles

Gift idea: The Steam Deck

Why: This is the year to level up your gaming gifts. If you’re a serious PC gamer, Valve’s Steam Deck, the handheld console with nearly 30,000 games at your disposal, is a decent option. When it comes to privacy, our researchers note that while Valve isn’t perfect, they aren’t the worst out there. Their privacy policy is a little vague and *Privacy Not Included hasn’t been able to confirm if it meets their Minimum Security Standard, but the team hasn’t found any major concerns or big red flags.  

Anything Amazon

We’re kidding!

Amazon has never had a great selection of products protecting your privacy, and somehow, things keep getting worse every year. In fact, a ton of their products landed on Mozilla’s 2023 naughty list, with many landing a warning label from our researchers. 

If you’re looking for a needle in the privacy haystack, though, their Kindle might be the only decent option. Or, just get a Pocketbook eReader, instead. 


This holiday season, make your gifts memorable and secure. Mozilla’s *Privacy Not Included buyer’s guide ensures that your tech presents not only bring joy, but also protect the privacy of your loved ones. 

Happy holidays and happy gifting!

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