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Spies are everywhere


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Their plans for your humble abode

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We’ve often touched on the fact that the programs and services we use can tell their developers a lot about us. Names, browsing history, preferences and interests—advertising companies want to know everything. What else can they learn without our help?

iRobot, manufacturer of the autonomous Roomba vacuum cleaners, intends to sell companies floorplans of premises cleaned by its ”smart” vacuum cleaner.

Major corporations have decided to purchase this information in order to further develop the smart home industry which involves Internet-controlled devices being used to manage households.

Roomba can map the spaces inside homes. The smart robots mark furniture locations and use their sensors to determine a home’s spatial dimensions. This way the devices can better navigate around their furnishings and create cleaning templates.

Of course, the data that will be passed to third parties won't contain any customer identifiable information. But we all remember that vulnerabilities exist. So household maps in smart devices can become a valuable gift to all sorts of criminals.

Furthermore, fridges can say what you prefer to eat for breakfast and display various ads from the "manufacturer". Video cameras will assist advertising companies by providing them with information about your movements around your home, while smart bathrooms will help them create playlists of your favourite songs.

#Internet_of_Things #IoT

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iRobot's CEO Colin Angle said that the data gathered by the vacuum cleaners will only be shared with other companies if customers give their consent. However, according to Angle, smart home devices can only operate if a detailed map of the premises is available. And the use of the map must be authorised by the home's owner.

iRobot can start sharing the data right now. Angle also hoped that most users would allow the vacuum cleaners to share their floorplans with other companies.

So before you leave your signature or press a button to give your consent, read what you're actually agreeing to.

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