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Privacy advocates rank the creepiest tech gifts of 2018

Here's a handful of the devices from Mozilla's second annual Privacy Not Included list of connected tech with questionable privacy and security features. Researchers examined everything from encryption of personal information and automatic security updates to the readability of devices' privacy policies.

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Sarah Tew

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creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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Mozilla has created a whole website devoted to privacy concerns across a range of products, which you can vote up or down on its "creep-o-meter." These are just a handful. 

FREDI Baby Monitor comes with a default password of "123" -- and that password's printed on the outside of the box, making the monitor easy to hack. If you do need to buy a baby monitor, check CNET's expert advice.

creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are desirable high-end headphones that incorporate voice control and access to Alexa or Google Assistant. According to Mozilla's security red flags, Bose was accused of spying on users through its app last year.

creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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Seedling's Parker, a cute teddy bear that comes with an app. Your child points the app at the design on the bear's stomach and an AR version of "play doctor" will commence. According to Mozilla, the privacy policy is written at a grade 14 level.  

creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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Hidrate Spark is a $45 water bottle that will periodically glow to remind you to drink enough water throughout the day. It syncs with your fitness apps but can also share your information with third parties.

creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit is a $99 wand that teaches kids using open-source coding challenges.  Red flags for Mozilla researchers included the complex privacy policy and information sharing with third parties.

creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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Tile Mates are basically bluetooth trackers that you can attach to anything you don't want to lose. There's a waterproof version too. Though it does get automatic security updates and a personalized password is required, this product can share your information with third parties. It also has a complicated privacy policy.  Vote on Mozilla's website here.

creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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The Athena Safety Wearable is a Bluetooth device with a button you can push to alert a group of selected contacts of your location, or trigger an audible alarm. This $65 item meets Mozilla's minimum security standards.

creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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People find the Google Home's always-on microphone in their home, well... creepy.  As one might expect, the smart home category on Privacy Not Included list is substantial.

creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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Sphero BB-8 Robot made the creepy list because it could be used to share your information. But if you're interested in a miniature Star Wars robot you can control from your phone, this is a good bet at $79.99.  Fans can vote on its creepiness levels on Mozilla's site.

creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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What could be creepy about Anova's Precision Cooker Sous Vide? According to Mozilla there's no encryption, it has a tricky privacy policy and it shares your information with third parties. 

creepiest tech gifts of 2018
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The Nintendo Switch raised red flags for Mozilla's researchers on 2 fronts: The reading level required to get through its privacy policy and the fact that it shares users' personal information with third parties for "unexpected reasons." 

This list is just a sampling of the analysis available for review on Privacy Not Included.

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