#Fail: iRobot Wants To Sell Maps Of Your Home

The maker of the Roomba robot vacuum, iRobot has found itself embroiled in a privacy storm after its chief executive suggested it may begin selling floor plans of customers’ homes, derived from the movement data of their autonomous servants:

No. Seriously. I am not making this up. Here’s the proof:

“There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” said [iRobot CEO Colin] Angle.

Remember the days when worrying about the Internet of Things meant that you were worrying about someone pwning said thing on the Internet and causing you some grief? Yeah, 2016 was such a good year. In any case, this is a stupid idea. Why? It’s a slippery slope. Targeted ads, law enforcement wanting to get their hands on this data…. That’s just two ways that I can think of that this can go horribly sideways. Now you could opt out…. But:

The iRobot Home app does clearly inform users that they are capable of turning off the cloud sharing functions on their Roomba. But the actual terms of service document is written in typically convoluted legal language. The privacy policy frames most data collection as something that will just make your device better and improve overall user experience. A section of the policy on sharing personal information with third parties bullet points out the situations in which iRobot could share this data.

That doesn’t inspire confidence. I’m going to keep an eye on this as this is guaranteed to blow up. Which means I’ll be reporting on this again in the not too distant future.


One Response to “#Fail: iRobot Wants To Sell Maps Of Your Home”

  1. […] that story about iRobot selling data about the layout of your home? Well, there’s a new story according to […]

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