iRobot Roombas

iRobot Roombas

Wi-Fi Bluetooth

Tarehe ya ukaguzi: Nov. 1, 2023


Mozilla inasema

Watu waliopiga kura: Inaogofya sana

Let’s face it, vacuuming sucks. Throw in some pets or kids and this Sisyphean task can drain your soul. Well, hello Roomba! This robot vacuum does the work for you. These robot vacuums map your house, can tell the kitchen from the dinner room, and will vacuum with a "Hey Google, clean up under the table" voice command. A truly wonderful invention. And if you've been scarred by watching those videos where they smear poop all over the floor, your worries are (hopefully) over. Roombas learned how to avoid dog poo. Technological advances are truly a wonder. Poo aside, maybe the best thing about iRobot's Roombas is, they're actually pretty good at privacy and security. For now. Who knows if they'll stay that way after Amazon's purchase of iRobot goes through?

Je, jambo gani linaweza kutokea mambo yakienda mrama?

iRobot and their robot vacuums have been the good guys when it comes to privacy. That’s why they made our “Best Of” list year after year. And why Consumer Reports named them the most privacy and secure robot vacuums they review back in 2021. Shoot, we even hired an independent cybersecurity firm to look into iRobot Roomba’s privacy and security in 2022 and they came back with a report that said, “Despite the fact that rigorous testing approaches and techniques were instigated against the Roomba Vacuum i3 … no issues of any kind were identified during the course of this review.”

So when we read that screenshots of a woman on the toilet recorded by a Roomba ended up on Facebook -- many people’s worst fear about robot vacuums -- we were pretty bummed. iRobot confirmed that the screenshots did come from Roomba recordings from 2020, but said they were from a test run of vacuums. They said the people using those vacuums signed special agreements that recordings would be sent back to the company for training. It’s not clear though whether these people knew that the videos could be watched, reviewed, and screenshotted by humans. (We’re guessing not.) And I’m sure that they could end up on social media definitely wasn’t part of the deal. Ouff, that's not "Best Of" behavior, iRobot. The good news is, those were test robots being used by people who had specifically consented to have them in their homes recording (but not leaking images of them on Facebook).

There’s more bad news for iRobot. Before the toilet fiasco, we were already a little worried. The reason we asked an independent cybersecurity firm to look into iRobot’s robot vacuum cleaners in the first place is because we wanted to confirm that they are as good at privacy and security as we thought (and it seems they are). Because not-very-good-guy Amazon announced in August, 2022 that they are acquiring good guy iRobot for about $1.7 billion (the Amazon deal hasn't gone through yet, but it could be finalized as soon as February 2024). Since then, the possibility of these two becoming one has become a full blown controversy that’s already costing iRobot.

Here’s why: Amazon loves data. As many experts were quick to point out, they like to know as much about you as they can so they can target you with the ads and product recommendations that will sell you more stuff. iRobot’s privacy policy says they can collect lots of data about you and your home -- things like your home’s floor plan, the objects in your home and where they are located, cleaning schedules, your location, name, email, device and advertising IDs, and even images from your home if you chose to share those from their vacuums that use camera-based navigation. That’s a lot of info about your and your home that Amazon could potentially use to know more about you, target you with ads, and sell you more stuff.

iRobot currently makes it fairly clear they want to do a good job protecting and respecting all the data their little roving vacuum robots can collect. They don’t sell your data (neither will Amazon, but Amazon doesn’t need to as they are the advertising giant others pay to use the data they have on you to target you with ads and promotions). iRobot also says they won’t share your personal information for third party advertising (they may share some app and website usage info for targeted advertising…this is super common). This is good. However, we can’t say Amazon will do the same. Amazon wants to own that data on you to target you with more ads and sell you more stuff. As one privacy expert put it, “People tend to think of Amazon as an online seller company, but really Amazon is a surveillance company. That is the core of its business model, and that’s what drives its monopoly power and profit,” says Evan Greer, director of the nonprofit digital rights organization Fight for the Future.

There’s something else too. Regulators are wondering whether this deal would give Amazon an unfair advantage. While they have the green light from the UK, the European Commission and the FTC are conducting antitrust investigations. They worry that if this goes forward Amazon might use their ownership of iRobot to monopolize not just the robot vacuum market, but ecommerce and advertising too–more than they do already– by making use of all that extra data from shoppers’ homes.

All this makes it feel quaint that a few years back iRobot got into a bit of hot water because it appeared they were mapping users' homes with their Roomba robot vacuum cleaners with potential plans to sell that data. Since then, iRobot stepped up and made it a point to show they don't sell users' personal data about their lives or homes. And you can choose to not have map data transmitted to iRobot at all. All this is great…and shows why the news of the pending sale of iRobot to Amazon isn’t so great.

What’s the worst that could happen? Well, the sale of iRobot to Amazon will likely go through. Once Amazon takes over, iRobot's privacy could take a turn for the worst. And all those people who bought a Roomba partly because they were good at privacy could now have their personal information transferred over to Amazon as part of the sale. And now Amazon could have a floor plan mapping, objects in your home tracking, roving camera sending data back to the retail and ad targeting Big Tech giant. And, well, your privacy could never be the same. Dear Amazon, would you please not screw up iRobot’s robot vacuums and their strong privacy and security!?? Please! Can we just have one nice thing for privacy these days?

Vidokezi vya kujilinda

  • Opt-out of the sharing of your personal information for cross-context behavioral advertising, by contacting at [email protected]
  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Limit your robot vacuum's data sharing
  • Use strong passwords
  • Keep your robot vacuum's firmware updated
  • Do not sign up with third-party accounts. Better just log in with email and strong password.
  • Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
  • Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless neccessary)
  • Keep your app regularly updated
  • Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization)
  • Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data.
  • When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.
  • mobile

Unaweza kunichunguza? taarifa


Kifaa: Ndiyo

Programu: Ndiyo

Kipaza sauti

Kifaa: Hapana

Programu: Hapana

Inafuatilia eneo

Kifaa: Hapana

Programu: Ndiyo

Unaweza kutumia nini kujisajili?

Facebook and Google log-ins available.

Kampuni inakusanya data gani?

Je, kampuni inatumiaje data hii?

The iRobot Corporation Cookie and Privacy Policy

"We use your information for these types of things: ...
to send you information about product sales, special offers and new site features,
This information will be sent according to your preferences which can be accessed either from your account on or in the app.
to enable iRobot to research and innovate,
to personalize your experience and our marketing communications,
to help us understand what kind of services you might use,
to recommend things we think might interest you,
to send you emails with news, offers and promotions,
to show you advertising on our services and to understand how effective it is,
to market our products and services to you on social media, ..."

"iRobot will never sell your information. We may share your information with others in these ways:
a. When you make something public Like post a comment which the public can see.
b. When we use other companies to power our services
In order for us to give you quality experiences and to understand how you’re using our services, we often use other companies to process your personal information on our behalf.
For example, for customer service, trouble-shooting robots, sending you emails about things we think might interest you, or analyzing data on how people use our digital services so we can improve them.
We work to ensure that your personal information is processed as if we were handling it directly. We carefully select these companies, only share with them what they need to do the work and we make sure they keep your information secure.
c. When we share personal information with companies in our group
Other companies owned by, or that are owned by the same company as iRobot, may access your data under the terms included in this Policy.
d. When you use another company's service that connects to us, like voice-enabled devices and connected TV
We allow third parties to create apps and tools that work with our devices and services, like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
If you want to connect a third-party app with our devices or services, we will let the third party collect information that is necessary to support the connection. However, iRobot does not control the data collection and use practices of these connected third parties. We recommend reviewing any third-party privacy notices before connecting.
You may opt-in or -out of a third-party app or service integration at any time through the app or by disabling your account directly with the third-party providers.
e. When we share personal information with purchasers and third parties in connection with a business transaction
We may share your personal information in connection with a transaction, like the sale of company assets or shares, or acquisition.
f. When, by law, we have to pass on your information to other organizations
We might also share your information if we have to by law, or when we need to protect you or other people from harm.
g. When we have “anonymized” your data so that you cannot be identified."

"iRobot does not sell personal information. If you would like to opt-out of the sharing of your personal information for cross-context behavioral advertising, please contact us at [email protected]."

"We may hold on to your data if it is first anonymized to be used for our records and/or for development purposes. If you would like your personal information to be deleted from our systems, please see the section below “9. What are my choices regarding my information?”."

California Privacy Notice
"Disclosure of personal information. We share personal information with service providers (as defined in the CCPA), and with third parties for business purposes, in a manner that does not constitute a “sale” (as defined in the CCPA - for example, at the direction of the consumer). As defined in the CCPA, "sell" "selling”, "sale" or "sold is when the organization sells, rents, releases, discloses, disseminates, makes available, transfers, or otherwise communicates in any means, personal information to a third party for monetary or other valuable consideration."

Unawezaje kudhibiti data yako?

The iRobot Corporation Cookie and Privacy Policy

"If you would like to submit a request for a copy of your information, please contact iRobot Customer Care. We require you to comply with a verification process to ensure that you are the owner of the data you are asking us to delete. If you have any questions or issues about your data subject rights, please contact [email protected]."

"What are my choices regarding my information?

You’re in control of your personal information. You have the right to:
request a copy of your information,
control device data collection,
correct information that is wrong,
ask us to delete your information or request that we only use it for certain purposes,
change your mind and ask us to stop using your information, and
For example, unsubscribing from any marketing emails or turning off personalization.
opt out from personalized advertising cookies and other tracking."

Je, rekodi ya kampuni inayojulikana ya kulinda data ya watumiaji ni gani?


In January 2023, it was reported by MIT Technology Review that non-commercial, special development Roomba robot vacuums being test by iRobot paid testers recorded image of a woman on a toilet that later ended up on Facebook.

Taarifa ya Faragha ya Mtoto

The iRobot Corporation Cookie and Privacy Policy

"We do not create content and services for anyone under 16, and we do not intentionally collect or maintain information from persons under 16.
If you become aware that personal information about a person under 16 has been provided to us, please immediately contact us at [email protected]. That way, we can delete the information from our records."

Je, bidhaa hii inaweza kutumika nje ya mtandao?


Maelezo ya faragha yanayofaa watumiaji?


iRobot's privacy policy is long and the text is small. It's not terrible, it's just not exaclty user-friendly.

Viungo vya taarifa za faragha

Je, bidhaa hii inakidhi Viwango vyetu vya Chini Zaidi vya Usalama? taarifa


Usimbaji fiche


Data is encrypted in transit and at rest. The Roomba communicates with the iRobot cloud service using encryption. Robot information is stored separately from any customer information to de-identify the robot and its associated data from its owner.

Nenosiri thabiti


Masasisho ya usalama


Inashughulikia hatari


iRobot runs a private bug bounty program, which means that anyone who finds a security issue and discloses it responsibly may get paid. They also hold hacking events to collaborate with the broad security research community.

Sera ya faragha


Je, bidhaa inatumia AI? taarifa


Scholarly articles are available about the machine learning used to help Roombas navigate a room and to make recommended cleaning schedules.

Je, AI hii haiaminiki?


Je, AI hukufanyia maamuzi gani?

iRobot uses AI and machine learning to help certain iRobot Roomba robot vacuums and Braava jet robot mops with Smart Mapping capabilities to map and navigate a home. This technology also helps these same Smart Mapping robots to automatically detect and proactively suggest ‘Clean Zones’ around specific objects like couches, tables, and kitchen counters. To do this, iRobot’s software has been trained with hundreds of thousands of images of these common household objects taken from test home environments during our development process (note: no customer robots or customer data was used during this process). Our machine learning software running onboard the robot then uses this pre-trained ability to recognize these objects in the home to deliver the customer-facing feature. AI and machine learning also enables our connected robots to better fit within our users homes and schedules through features like recommended cleaning schedules based on the user’s previous cleaning patterns and, for our Smart Mapping robots, learning trouble areas of the home based on the robot’s experience and recommending specific ‘Keep Out Zones’ to the user.

Only the Roomba j7/j7+ and Roomba Combo j7+ can use its camera sensor to detect and avoid obstacles; which currently includes only electrical cords and pet waste. With a user’s express, opt-in consent, their Roomba j-Series robot will snap a photo of perceived obstacle and send the photo to the iRobot Home App for a user’s review. iRobot cannot view the images sent to the iRobot Home App unless a user specifically chooses to share an image with us. Users can choose to share any image they’d like - all of them, or none. Images that are shared with iRobot are used to improve iRobot's ability to train robots to avoid obstacles. Images that are not shared with iRobot are never viewable by iRobot and are deleted in 30 days.

Je, kampuni ina uwazi kuhusu jinsi AI inavyofanya kazi?


An example can be found here:

Je, mtumiaji anadhibiti vipengele vya AI?


*Privacy Not Included

Chunguza kwa Kina

  • A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?
    MIT Technology Review Link opens in a new tab
  • Amazon's Takeover of Roomba-maker on Course for Approval by February
    Gizmodo Link opens in a new tab
  • The iRobot Deal Would Give Amazon Maps Inside Millions of Homes
    Wired Link opens in a new tab
  • Amazon subsidiaries worry data protection advocates
    Deutsche Welle Link opens in a new tab
  • How Amazon’s Acquisitions of iRobot and One Medical Could Affect Your Privacy
    Wirecutter Link opens in a new tab
  • iRobot’s Roomba will soon be owned by Amazon, which raises privacy questions
    The Conversation Link opens in a new tab
  • Amazon dominates the $113 billion smart home market — here’s how it uses the data it collects
    CNBC Link opens in a new tab
  • Will Amazon’s iRobot purchase turn your Roomba into a spy?
    Digital Trends Link opens in a new tab
  • Amazon vacuums up Roomba maker iRobot, sparking immediate privacy concerns
    Mashable Link opens in a new tab
  • Robot vacuums are learning to avoid dog poop. But that’s not all they can see.
    The Washington Post Link opens in a new tab
  • Is Your Robotic Vacuum Sharing Data About You?
    Consumer Reports Link opens in a new tab
  • Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That Could Be Shared
    New York Times Link opens in a new tab
  • Is my robot vac spying on me? Data privacy, explained
    Reviewed Link opens in a new tab
  • Here's what your iRobot knows about you
    Avast Link opens in a new tab
  • Robot vacuums have a lot of dirt on you. Is yours sharing data? Link opens in a new tab


Una maoni? Tuambie.