Roomba devices can collect specific data about your home—and that has some people worried.
The Roomba buzzing around your living room isn’t just collecting dirt. It’s collecting data.
iRobot, the company that sells these robotic vacuum devices, may consider selling the data it collects of floor spaces and individual homes to tech giants like Amazon, Apple or Google, iRobot CEO Colin Angle told Reuters.
If given to companies like these, the data could help them suggest what home items customers could buy, according to Reuters.
“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,” Angle told Reuters. He said the company has not formed plans to sell the data, but a deal could be made in the next couple of years.
High-end models of iRobot’s Roombas can create Clean Maps reports that users can use to better gauge how well the robotic vacuums are cleaning their homes.
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The company’s 900-series Roomba has a camera, sensors and software that allow it to build a map of the area it cleans and track its place within it. This data can be accessed on the iRobot HOME App, and users can opt out of it by changing their settings.
While the potential selling of this data to other companies poses privacy concerns, according to experts interviewed by Reuters and New York Times, a representative from iRobot told Real Simple the company would not sell this data without the consent of its customers.
“iRobot believes that in the future, this information could provide even more value for our customers by enabling the smart home and the devices within it to work better, but always with their explicit consent,” a spokesperson for the company wrote.