Privacy Not Included Group dings Amazon this year

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and you know what that means. Groggy consumers lining up at Best Buy or logging onto Amazon to pick up Black Friday deals on the latest electronics and digital products, sometimes for gifts.

Oh, the humanity.

But before you rush out, we are revisiting one of our favorite sites, PrivacyNotIncluded.org run by the Mozilla Foundation and the head of the group, Jen Caltrider.

We last interviewed Jen two years ago when Meta was still relatively shiny and filled with hope. It didn’t fare well with the group’s evaluation. The good news is Meta is no longer the worst offender in abusing the privacy of users. The bad news is they aren’t any better at it. Amazon and Google have gotten worse.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy those whizbang, nifty gifts this weekend, you just need to go into it knowing what you are unleashing upon yourself and those you are buying the gifts for. Privacy Not Included makes it a little better with clear guides on how you can reduce the amount of data you give up and keep everyone a little safer. There are also recommendations for more privacy-forward products, mostly from Apple (but they aren’t pure and clean either).

Jen also lets slip that the Mozilla Foundation is working on a product that will allow us to keep complete control over our data and decide if and who we want to sell it to. We will be watching that closely.

As for your reporter, I’m cooking two turkeys, making cornbread dressing and will stay home. And this year, everyone is getting books.

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Lou Covey is the Chief Editor for Cyber Protection Magazine. In 50 years as a journalist he covered American politics, education, religious history, women’s fashion, music, marketing technology, renewable energy, semiconductors, avionics. He is currently focused on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. He published a book on renewable energy policy in 2020 and is writing a second one on technology aptitude. He hosts the Crucial Tech podcast.

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