Roomba Maker Preparing to Sell Maps of Your Home to Advertisers

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by stapp, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

    Jan 12, 2006
  2. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Jul 10, 2004
    The Netherlands
    You gotta be kidding me, this madness needs to stop.
  3. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

    Feb 29, 2012
    You can become desensitized to it all, but then someone will come along and push the boundaries even further. Perhaps it is the autonomous roaming capability that makes such topics somewhat uniquely creepy (to me).

    I picture a pleasant looking woman, in a casual top and skirt. She is gathering her keys and purse, preparing to leave her home. In the background, we catch a glimpse of a robot which is dormant in its charger. As the woman heads out the door she looks down at it, smiles, and tells it to "have a nice day!". After she has gone, the camera pans to the robot. First one light comes on. Then another. It slowly turns to the left, then it slowly turns to the right, verifying that the coast is clear. Then it perks up and moves with speedy purpose.

    As it quickly roams the immediate area, faint red beams can be seen washing over the room. Revealing that it is performing a 3D spatial scan of her living space and the items in it. We hear camera clicking sounds, along with data transmission sounds, letting us know that pictures are also being phoned home. After closely inspecting a shopping bag and other items left on the floor, it heads to what appears to be the more private area of the home. Blowing right past a virtual boundary that was setup to keep it from going back there. Into a laundry room, into a bathroom, then into what looks like the master bedroom. It pushes open a cracked closet door and disappears. There must be something interesting in there, because we hear many camera clicks. A cat wanders in and begins to enter the closet, but the robot aggressively exits and rams the cat out of the way <cat screech>. It goes under the bed for a little while. Then it comes out and roots into a pile of clothes on the floor. Then to the dresser. Not much to see... wait a second... two arm-like appendages are coming out of its sides!! It has those?! Oh... my... god... it is now *opening* a drawer. What the... it is actually pulling itself up onto the edge of the drawer! Now it is rooting around in the drawer and taking pictures!!! I cannot believe that is happening! Oh, it just froze up. We hear a few data beeps. It turns, pauses, then panics. It hops off the drawer, slams the drawer closed... zips to the closet, nudges the door back into place... then screeeaamms back to the main area. Where it slows to a crawl and acts like it is doing whatever it is meant to.

    Aahhh, we hear keys in the door. The companion app on her smartphone must have warned the robot she was returning! As she walks in she says hello and heads toward the kitchen. The robot is in her way, so she steps over it. As she does, a tiny door on its top flips open. *click*
  4. RockLobster

    RockLobster Registered Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    Oooo so then what happened next?
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Sep 20, 2003
    ROFL. My clients are well advised never to use any type of Roomba type vacuums. They learn it quickly. All of my clients have dogs, and the vacuums are great for picking up dog hair, but then when the dogs have an accident in the home, the Roomba goes to work. Not good.
  6. emmjay

    emmjay Registered Member

    Jan 26, 2010
    The spy under the bed. I can not wait for the next episode. It's like the Perils of Pauline. :argh:

    Opt-in must be the default (as with most IOT devices). Opt-out probably requires opening up an online account on the iRobot website. I suggest using a throw away email address for this if someone is stupid enough to buy one of these dust bunny eaters (doggy waste slurper) spy units.
  7. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    DC Metro Area
    "iRobot CEO says the company won't share your Roomba home mapping data without your permission...[says he after the broo-ha-ha and this is for now.]

    Colin Angle[iRobot CEO]: 'iRobot takes privacy and security of its customers very seriously. We will always ask your permission to even store map data. Right now, iRobot is building maps to enable the Roomba to efficiently and effectively clean your home.[inconsistent with first sentence?] In the future, with your permission, this information will enable the smart home and the devices within it to work better...

    The VSLAM data the Roomba currently captures stays on the robot. Some usage data (how long did it clean, how far did it go, did it encounter any error codes, is it functioning correctly) is sent to the cloud so it can be shown on your mobile device. The Roomba does not send images used for navigation to the cloud. If you click accept on having your map data viewable on your mobile device, then that data is also sent up...'"
  8. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

    Jul 21, 2003
    Open Letter: Seriously, Roomba, now you're spying on us?
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