A fly on the wall? More like a spy on the floor of your home. It turns out that your dog isn’t the only one who should be weary of your Roomba. This popular home cleaning device has been mapping homes using a camera and sensors since 2015 in order to maximize efficiency. However, they plan to sell this data to smart home device manufacturers such as Google, Amazon and Apple, the company said Tuesday.
While it may seem like the information being gathered is minimal and harmless, there is a lot to be said for the maps each device is collecting. It knows the floor plan of your home, the basic shape of everything on your floor, what areas require the most maintenance, and how often you require cleaning cycles, along with many other data points.
If this doesn’t make you suspicious, it probably should. This is all part of the larger mission for major companies to glean every bit of data about you that they can. Now, they want to know all about your living space. iRobot CEO Colin Angle stated that user data won’t be sold without permission and he thinks most people will want to take advantage of the greater functionality.
In actuality, their terms of agreement allow the company enough freedom to share your data internally, with subsidiaries, third party vendors, and the government upon request. A section within their terms of agreement specifically states that they may “…share your personal information with other parties in connection with any company transaction, such as a merger, sale of all or a portion of company assets or shares…” In summary, they do not need your consent if iRobot wanted to sell its user data in bulk. Unless you want the details about your home and family in the hands of third parties without your knowledge, think twice next time you are shopping for a new cleaning device.