By Ashley Boyd, VP Advocacy at Mozilla
There are countless internet-connected products for sale on Amazon, from toys and baby monitors to drones and fitness trackers — and many of them lack privacy policies. It’s alarming to see Amazon allow these products on its platform when the manufacturers haven’t even taken basic steps for user privacy.
The result? More insecure products in homes, and more consumers vulnerable to fraud and snooping.
We know privacy policies aren’t a silver bullet. When they do exist, they can still be convoluted, or outline poor privacy practices. But a mandate from Amazon would force manufacturers to give privacy more thought, and could cull the worst offenders from Amazon’s digital shelves. The mandate could also help address products with opaque supply chains — that is, insecure devices that are manufactured, bought and rebranded by another entity, and then sold to consumers.
Consumer privacy is paramount to Mozilla. This ask is the next step in our work to make the consumer IoT ecosystem more private and secure. Last year, we debuted our five minimum security guidelines for IoT. Today, we’re urging one of the world’s largest retailers to enforce one of those guidelines: mandatory privacy policies.
Mozilla also publishes *Privacy Not Included, a shopping guide that ranks popular devices’ privacy and security features.
We urge Amazon to take this important step toward protecting consumers’ privacy. When a company the size of Amazon speaks, manufacturers listen. That’s why we’ve pressured Amazon to do better in the past, and why we cheer when our allies do the same.