Jeff Bezos’s Amazon now has access to see everything in your home with the recent purchase of iRobot.
iRobot OS is a new “software operating system for” robot home appliances like robot vacuums (think Roomba) and mops.
The software seeks to “provide its household bots with a deeper understanding of your home and your habits” according to The Verge, a technology news website.
iRobot’s technology will reportedly be helpful for the maps Amazon generates to guide its devices through the home.
“The vacuum company has detailed knowledge of our floor plans and, crucially, how they change. It knows where your kitchen is, which your kids’ rooms are, where your sofa is (and how new it is), and if you recently turned the guest room into a nursery,” smart home reviewer Jennifer Pattison Tuohy wrote in The Verge.
“This type of data is digital gold to a company whose primary purpose is to sell you more stuff. While I’m interested to see how Amazon can leverage iRobot’s tech to improve its smart home ambitions, many are right to be concerned with the privacy implications.
“People want home automation to work better, but they don’t want to give up the intimate details of their lives for more convenience.”
Nevertheless, it appears that with the purchase of iRobot software and devices, that seems to be exactly what homeowners are doing.
Tuohy went to point out Amazon’s history of sharing personal data.
The Echo smart speakers are similarly “always listening (for the wake word).”
Combine all of these devices together in one home, and Amazon has “a pretty complete picture of your daily life,” Tuohy wrote.
Amazon’s goal is to implement “ambient intelligence,” essentially giving the company a full picture of the inner workings of your home at all times.
While some consumers may be excited at the prospect of having a team of robots maintain their home spaces, others will likely have privacy concerns.
It is certainly understandable, given how much personal information Amazon could eventually have access to.
This is a sentiment both Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on.
Erica Joy, the Chief Technical Officer for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, listed off the types of “information” Amazon could soon have access to in people’s homes.
information amazon will have about people:
maps of homes (astro/irobot/roomba)
medical records (onemedical)
home network activity (eero)
voice samples (alexa)
video of homes (ring/blink home/astro)
grocery habits (whole foods)
vehicle movement (echo auto)
+more i can’t fit here https://t.co/D46vuZoAO0
— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) August 5, 2022
Her list included the following:
- “maps of homes”
- “medical records”
- “home network activity”
- “voice samples”
- “videos of homes”
- “grocery habits”
- “vehicle movement”
Following the list, Joy added that there were more types of information Amazon has access to that she could not even fit within the word count of one tweet.
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