Your Roomba is spying on you and that fridge sure looks suspicious

Subject: General Tech | July 25, 2017 - 02:54 PM |
Tagged: security, roomba, irobot, greed

It should be obvious to most that the new generation of Roombas builds up and saves a map of your house, that is how it memorizes how to navigate your floors to vacuum them.  One would also think it was obvious that this information should remain private; unfortunately iRobot does not seem to understand this.  They are in discussion with Apple, Amazon and Alphabet to determine a price at which iRobot will sell them the map of the parts of your house which your Roomba has traversed.  This should be somewhat disturbing to Roomba owners and likely very exciting to anyone who likes to wander univited into other people's homes.  The security of the data is not likely to be difficult to overcome for a motivated and skilled individual so keep that in mind if you are shopping for a robot vacuum.  You can pop by The Inquirer to read iRobot chief executive Colin Angle's bizarre response to tweets from concerned customers.

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"VACUUM CLEANER COMPANY iRobot, responsible for the 'smart' Roomba vacuum, is considering doing something really dumb - selling user mapping data to companies that would hand over how your house is laid out."

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Source: The Inquirer

July 25, 2017 | 06:46 PM - Posted by flippityfloppit...

At this point, it should be assumed that any device that has online connectivity is recording everything you/it does for profit or other.

What a grand future we live in.

July 25, 2017 | 08:41 PM - Posted by Clmentoz (not verified)

Roombas, thermostats, tosters, TVs, and refrigerators, and even your toothbrush. And Big Appliance is watching, tracking, and measuring both you and your house inside and out if you count the smart flood lights and other outdoor appliances.

It looks like there needs to be some form of consumer countermeasures to combat the spyware baked into everything including the kitchen sink. The best measure that I know about is voting with the wallet and avoiding all such modern wares. But what are some renters to do when the building's management wants to bring on the internet connected(Wifi) thermostats and other such things.

I'll stick to the good old mop and bucket for my cleaning needs, and a broom to sweep the floor, but It's really hard with things like Android based Cell-phones being the only phones available with G3/G4 connectivity as the flip-phone with the relatively dumb OS and no app/spyware ecosystem can not be purchased in the US. All those old Flip-Phones with the GSM/only connectivity are just useless paper-weights now for any phone calling functionality.

It's one big slippery slope over the edge and into that abyss where everybody and everything is always on and up into your personal business. That's the end for anyone's personal space from then on.

July 26, 2017 | 12:06 AM - Posted by Goofus Maximus

We are all Stars in The Truman Show! W0000t!

WHY does my lightbulb need to be connected to the interwebs? This "living in a fish tank" lifestyle we are being sold with these useless "Internet of Things That Don't Need An Internet Connection" so-called "smart" items, is ridiculous.

July 26, 2017 | 10:01 AM - Posted by Lucidor

The response isn't bizarre at all.
He's saying they'll take the money they get from your data and hand it to some lawyers, which will make sure there's no competition for displeased customers to turn to.

Frankly, the Roombas should not have been programmed to send the data to iRobot in the first place, as it no doubt gets collected by the NSA on its way to iRobot's servers and -once there- can be collected via warrants by other agencies.

July 26, 2017 | 10:40 AM - Posted by Goofus Maximus

My paranoid imagination takes fire at the idea of Russian Hackers influencing the election, by programming rogue roombas to vacuum up paper ballots from storage centers overnight... *wicked grin*

July 26, 2017 | 10:37 AM - Posted by PJ (not verified)

I didn't realize such devices needed a wireless connection to be set up. They should just work out of the box like a normal vacuum. Let me guess, iRoomba will Tweet to let you know how its day is going?

July 27, 2017 | 06:04 AM - Posted by Internet of Trash (not verified)

All these iot things are chinese made spying junk. I cant believe anyone is stupid enough to buy this garbage or shop on amazon. Our species is screwed.

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