Roomba developer iRobot looking to sell owner's room data to Apple to bolster HomeKit

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 44
    sergioz said:
    I caught Roomba watching my wife and I in bed. 
    Does it have a camera?
    My Roomba used my Echo to order a camera.  I tried to stop it, but it had already changed my passwords.
    viclauyycwatto_cobra[Deleted User]
  • Reply 22 of 44
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    mike1 said:
    What could possibly go wrong?
    Skynet
    VacNet
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 44
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,762member

    Any data collation and sale induces concerns about privacy issues. However, iRobot CEO Colin Angle said that the company would not sell the data without permission -- but believes that customers would give consent willingly in order to use the SLAM technology embedded in the cleaners

    "There's an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver," said Angle. "Once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared."

    If SLAM is implemented in the device, it should be available to the owner whether the owner decides to allow data sharing or not. However, Angle's statement indicates that SLAM will be available only if the owner permits their data to be shared. If this is the case, I cannot use here the words that come immediately to mind to describe this company.
    sphericwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 44
    I caught Roomba watching my wife and I in bed. 

    Yeh..  AIR, I saw the video on youtube, facebook, or somesuch...  Interesting perspective, tho...

    Kind of reminded me of this:



    ...Wait for it!

  • Reply 25 of 44
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 1,063member
    I caught Roomba watching my wife and I in bed. 
    ...did that charge or drain its battery...? :)
  • Reply 26 of 44
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 1,063member
    What could possibly go wrong?
    ...indeed... !
    ...an experiment re: 'standard' EULA...  www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx1AUupLn2w&t=1096s
  • Reply 27 of 44
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,344member
    Imagine your Roomba turning on you and cornering you in your bedroom. Imagine Alexa hearing some politically incorrect speech in your home and calling the ALCU. It gives a whole new meaning to ransomware.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 28 of 44
    lerxtlerxt Posts: 186member
    Are they kidding? Mapping my place so that Google, Apple and the NSA know my house?!
  • Reply 29 of 44
    Key phrase "customers would give consent willingly in order to use the SLAM technology embedded in the cleaners."
    The upshot is "if you consent to use SLAM to make your Roomba more efficient, we can sell ANY data we collect OUT OF YOUR HOME."
    Looks like I'll be trading in my 900 for an old fashioned vacuum cleaner.
  • Reply 30 of 44
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,251member
    Angle/iRobot are going about this the wrong way. Instead of the creepy and outwardly greedy act of selling private room information to unrelated third parties the room mapping function should be a feature for consumers to use to enhance their own home automation platforms - completely independent of external servers handling that data directly.

    Also he greatly overstates the usefulness of room mapping to automation functions such as lighting and environmental control - these functions can be better advised without sharing scans of the interior of your home.

    Perhaps iRobot should just use their maps to determine the most trafficked regions of a home to improve the function of the device - and stop looking for ways to cash in on the privacy of the people who had the misfortune of buying one of their products.

    Finally what justification can iRobot give to have access (indirect or otherwise) to the interior of your home? This sounds like a pandora's box of privacy violations, the sort of thing that both hackers and surveillance governments would want to access. "iRobot: A spy in every home." 
    edited July 2017 viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 44
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,089member
    The problem that I see with the "connected everything" model is that you really never have anyway of knowing who or what is connected to the thing on the other end. I am not paranoid but I am not too comfortable with the notion of being constantly surveiled within my own home.
    If anything, it would take some getting used to. 
    edited July 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 44
    wassimjwassimj Posts: 13member
    I wonder if Apple's new HomePod which also scans the room to supposedly adjust the audio quality, also saves the room data and sends it to Apple!
  • Reply 33 of 44
    macseeker said:
    Wonder if they will sell the data even without the owner's permission.  I have a feeling they will.

    Got a good question, why would the Roomba need access to the Internet?  It's really not needed.

    The CEO said they will seek permission. However, any company willing to sell information will most likely get the "permission" in the EULA. "We will share/ sell your information. If you do not want us to do it, don't use our product".
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 44
    Information technology used to be fun and, on the main, a net positive. Now, IT is more and more a crap shoot of what true value it actually adds to the human experience versus what it possibly takes away. I'm not talking about the debate about screen time versus life experiences or communicating via screen versus face-to-face. It seems anymore that technology is increasingly developed in such a way that each new iteration is more intrusive and carries a higher risk with regard to personal information.

    I never thought I would become the "old stogie" that was circumspect about technology. But the constant collection of intimate details of one's life and the impetus/need for companies to monetise that information should be alarming to more people. I understand the benefit, even with the risk, of putting so much information into a computer or smart phone. I've done it and (hopefully) taken the appropriate precautions to keep that data reasonably secure. But this type of data collection -- mapping the inside of your house -- that seems absolutely unnecessary is just ridiculous. Just because a company, an entity whose only ultimate reason for existence is to make more and more money, says it will only sell personal information with the permission of the customer, that in no way ensures the proper use and protection of that data. What happens when the T&Cs change unexpectedly and the means of "permission" make it so that most don't understand that they gave that permission (à la Facebook)? Or when there is a breach of data by any number of entities (Yahoo! anyone?)?

    I know I sound like a crackpot  conspiracy theorist, but the constant gathering of every detail of everyone's life that is then channeled into a bunch of data bases that then become the intellectual property of largely unaccountable private companies is something worthy of a larger societal debate. I don't think many people are really thinking about where all this is possibly going.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 35 of 44
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,337member
    Roomba: We didn’t intend to collect customer data without the their permission your honor, it was a bug in our software that sent the data. The audio streams were sent by the same bug, the microphone was an early test.
  • Reply 36 of 44
    hodarhodar Posts: 351member
    Every home built is built from Blueprints.  All blueprints are registered, approved by whatever architectural authority in your local, approves them and saves them in a database.  Thus, every home that is built in America, has blueprints attached to it - minus whatever re-models you have done.  Since MOST remodels are cabinets, updating a bathroom/kitchen or family room - these remodels do not essentially change the square feet of living space.

    Therefore, this database already exists; if someone would simply take the time to look up the blueprints.  I fail to see the privacy issues, as this data is already available.
    palomine
  • Reply 37 of 44
    hodar said:
    Every home built is built from Blueprints.  All blueprints are registered, approved by whatever architectural authority in your local, approves them and saves them in a database.  Thus, every home that is built in America, has blueprints attached to it - minus whatever re-models you have done.  Since MOST remodels are cabinets, updating a bathroom/kitchen or family room - these remodels do not essentially change the square feet of living space.

    Therefore, this database already exists; if someone would simply take the time to look up the blueprints.  I fail to see the privacy issues, as this data is already available.

    Sorry, but that's simply not true.  It may be true that the blueprints for some homes are on file in paper form in some jurisdictions, but the comprehensive, all-digital system you describe doesn't exist.
  • Reply 38 of 44
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    zroger73 said:
    I'd pay THEM to use the data from my 900-series Roomba if it would actually improve the operation of this dumb thing.

    I upgraded from an 800-series thinking that the camera would allow it to remember and learn over time. I was actually disappointed to learn that it "forgets" what it learned after each cycle "in the interest of privacy" so that each time it starts cleaning, it has to learn all over again.

    Each time it cleans, it does a very good job at mapping my home (as can be seen on the app), but it always gets stuck or shuts down in the same places. If it would remember map data, it would know, "I got stuck here before, so I'm going to avoid this area".

    The worst part is that I have a few rugs with black stripes in my single-story home. Every time it encounters one of those black stripes, the cliff sensors shut it down. There's no way to (reliably and without voiding the warranty) disable the cliff sensors. There should be a setting to turn these off for single-story homes - there is NOTHING in my home (and many other homes) for it to possibly fall off of!

    iRobot has no sympathy regarding the design oversight.
    You have to Roomba Proof your house! If it's getting stuck in the same places, you modify the places so it won't get stuck in them. For example, by Roomba would get stuck behind the soft and wall. I can't move the sofa back because it reclines back. So I have something blocking the path to get back there that I leave there always. It's never gotten stuck there since. I don't think I'd get one of these new Roomba's if it has the ability to spy on my house.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 39 of 44
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,532member
    hodar said:
    Every home built is built from Blueprints.  All blueprints are registered, approved by whatever architectural authority in your local, approves them and saves them in a database.  Thus, every home that is built in America, has blueprints attached to it - minus whatever re-models you have done.  Since MOST remodels are cabinets, updating a bathroom/kitchen or family room - these remodels do not essentially change the square feet of living space.

    Therefore, this database already exists; if someone would simply take the time to look up the blueprints.  I fail to see the privacy issues, as this data is already available.

    Sorry, but that's simply not true.  It may be true that the blueprints for some homes are on file in paper form in some jurisdictions, but the comprehensive, all-digital system you describe doesn't exist.
    Not to mention the fact that, with a high-quality video camera, it could do a heck of a lot more than simply map the floor layout of your home.  They should consider marketing this to parents with teenagers.
    randominternetpersonpalomine
  • Reply 40 of 44
    In 2017, any CEO who thinks it's a good idea to release a statement saying "we're going to sell user private data to third party companies" should be summarily dismissed by the board. There is no amount of qualification that can defuse this sentence. This is not just stupid, it's Travis Kalanick stupid.
    randominternetpersonpalomine
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