Wyze Robot Vacuum

Wyze Robot Vacuum

Wyze
Wi-Fi

Review date: Nov. 8, 2021

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Somewhat creepy

LIDAR! Everyone needs a vacuum with LIDAR! LIDAR is basically a spinning laser on top of your vacuum that spins around 6 times a second mapping out your home to 2,016 points in your room. Cool This is the same technology used in some driverless cars and you can have it in your vacuum! The Wyze App allows users to set virtual boundaries to keep the vacuum away from off limits areas. Want to vacuum while you are away from home? Use the app to track your vacuum in real time as it cruises around your house. And yes, we checked, those lasers spinning on the top of the vacuum aren't likely to blind you.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

This robot vacuum from Wyze doesn’t have a built-in camera. Instead it has room mapping sensors and LIDAR lasers. These are generally a safer bet than cameras in your home. However, researchers found that LIDAR robot vacuums can be hacked to and used to spy on voice conversations, even without a microphone.

This vacuum does connect to WiFi and shares some data back to Wyze. Fortunately, on the privacy side of things, Wyze seems pretty good. There’s nothing in Wyze’s privacy policy that worries us overly much. We like that Wyze does not sell your personal information. They say they can share de-identified or aggregated information with third parties, which is pretty common and not too worrisome. Although it’s a good time to remind you that it’s been found to be pretty easy to de-anonymize some types of data and track down an individual’s patterns, especially with location data. And they do some targeted advertising with data they collect.

One concern we did find with Wyze is in December 2019, they suffered a huge data leak that exposed the personal information of 2.4 million security camera users when they left a database unprotected for 22 days. That is not good, not good at all. Fortunately, Wyze jumped on fixing their epic goof, which is what you want to see when something like this happens. Hopefully, Wyze won’t have any more data leaks, especially ones involving any data this robot vacuum collects about your home.

What’s the worst that could happen? It would be pretty terrible to have your cool LIDAR robot vacuum hacked, the LIDAR used to “listen” into top secret conversations about your banking account numbers and travel plans, and then bad guys use those hacked conversations to rob you blind. That is very unlikely to happen. Still, it seems it’s not impossible.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Limit your robot vacuum's data sharing
  • Use strong passwords
  • Keep your robot vacuum's firmware updated
  • Check Wyze security & trust tips
  • Don't connect your Wyze app to any social networks like Facebook.
mobile Privacy warning Security A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: No

App: No

Microphone

Device: No

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: No

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

Wyze does not sell your personal information. However, Wyze may share aggregated or de-identified information with third parties, under your consent. Wyze also uses your data to target advertisement.

How can you control your data?

You can request that data be deleted. Wyze may still retain cached or archived copies of information about you for a certain period of time.

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Needs Improvement

In 2019, a massive leak happened at Wyze, exposing information from 2.4M customers. To Wyze’s credit, it has been very detailed in describing what happened, when, why, how, and what the company is doing about it.

Can this product be used offline?

No

User-friendly privacy information?

No

The privacy statement mentions audio data, but there's no explanation of what is being collected and what happens to it.

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Strong password

Yes

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

Yes

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Mapping of the space, obstacle detection

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

Yes

Does the user have control over the AI features?

No


News

Could your vacuum be listening to you?
Science Daily
A team of researchers demonstrated that popular robotic household vacuum cleaners can be remotely hacked to act as microphones.
Should you be worried about cameras in robot vacuums?
Digital Trends
Previously, cameras were used to map out rooms for improved cleaning efficiency, but they’re increasingly being used for much more.
Is Your Robotic Vacuum Sharing Data About You?
Consumer Reports
CR tests models from iRobot, LG, Samsung, Shark, and others to see whether these robovacs keep your data secure and private
Robot vacuums have a lot of dirt on you. Is yours sharing data?
Komando.com
A new report highlights how much data robotic vacuums actually share about you, and if you’re using one to keep your home tidy, you need to know the details.

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