We have all heard of those Roomba vacuum cleaners by now. They do a pretty good job of cleaning our carpets and floors. Thing is, they also do a pretty good job of gathering data about your home.

As technology improves our lives on a daily basis, there is also a growing concern of the collection and usage of data collected on us.  Most people have never even considered the fact that a vacuum cleaner could be collecting information.

There are several robotic vacuum cleaner offerings on the market.  But not all of them are capable of collecting and transmitting dat. According to James Baussmann, iRobot public relations manager for North America, only four of their Wi-Fi-connected Roomba models are capable of transmitting data. 

These models at the 690, 890, 960 and 980. The company claims that none of those models is currently sending data to third parties. Should you be worried? Mr. Baussmann had this to say, “iRobot is committed to the absolute privacy of our customer-related data, including data collected by our connected products,” he says. “No data is sold to third parties. No data will be shared with third parties without the informed consent of our customers.

However, In an interview with Reuters published yesterday, iRobot CEO Robert Engle suggested that his company might one day sell the mapping data collected by Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners to tech companies such as Amazon, Google, or Apple. Within two years, he explained, a detailed diagram of the floorplan in your home could well be worth money to a tech giant.

According to Consumer Reports, you can set turn of the Roomba’s Wi-Fi connection if you have already set it up by performing a factory reset. Simply press all three buttons on the vacuum cleaner (Clean, Spot Clean, and Home) at once and holding them down until you hear a tone.

Baussmann,  suggested that you hold the buttons down for about 15 seconds as doing so will return the device to its out-of-the-box configuration. Performing these steps will also erase any settings you may have entered, including scheduling info. 

As an added measure, iRobot claims it will delete any data that has been collected upon request, but you have to contact the company directly for that. For assistance with that—or any of the options above—contact the company’s customer support site. 

Source: MSN

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