07 Aug Are Smart Home Devices Safe? Indoor Mapping Data Collection Poses Privacy Risk
iRobot CEO Colin Angle has issued a clarification over reports the company was planning to sell customer data, stating the company “doesn’t sell customer data” and believes “that in the future, this information (the data it collectes through its connected products) 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.”
“iRobot does not sell customer data. Our customers always come first. We will never violate our customer’s trust by selling or misusing customer-related data, including data collected by our connected products. Right now, the data Roomba collects enables it to effectively clean the home and provides customers with information about cleaning performance. 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,” Angle stated in an email to the International Business Times on Saturday.
The Roomba has made a name for itself as an alternative to traditional vacuum cleaners. What you might not know is that future models could collect indoor mapping data.
The company behind the Roomba, iRobot, plans to sell spatial data i.e. the dimensions of a room and distance between sofas, tables and lamps, as a revenue strategy, and is planning to utilise the Roomba as a mapping bot rather than a cleaning one.
“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,” iRobot CEO Colin Angle told ReutersMonday, describing the use of indoor mapping data.