New Roomba vacuum would collect private household data - WNEM TV 5

New Roomba vacuum would collect private household data

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Source: CBS Source: CBS
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Technology designed to make our lives easier may come with a serious trade off.

The Loebrich family's Roomba has come in very handy to this busy family of five.

They bought their robotic vacuum cleaner four years ago. It uses sensors to change direction, and not even the dog seems to mind this robotic creature of sorts.

“My wife says this is the best Christmas present she has ever gotten to this day."

 But now the company iRobot has updated its Roomba with the Roomba 980. It comes with software that captures images of a room, and compares these images to gradually build up a map of the robot's surroundings - essentially a blue print of the inside of your home.

The Loebrich’s early model Roomba isn't internet connected and doesn't have that capacity.

Eventually, iRobot has plans to sell the data collected after mapping your house to buyers including Amazon, Apple and Google.

"It's like everything we do on our smartphones - they are collecting analytics about who are you and what you do."

The prospect of selling information raises potential privacy concerns. 

"The Roomba of tomorrow might be able to scan what furniture you own and figure out the income of your home or your TB watching habits,” said Jamie Lee Williams with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The company acknowledges the potential privacy concerns, saying  it takes privacy and security of its customers very serious and says it will always ask your permission to store map data.

Copyright 2017 CBS News. All rights reserved. 

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