How to manage privacy on a RoombaPosted: Updated:
Q: What should I do to keep my Roomba from sharing any information?
A: A recent New York Times article reported that iRobot, maker of the popular Roomba line of automated vacuum cleaners, was considering the sharing of user floor-plan data to third parties such as Amazon, Apple and Google.
This speculation arose from a Reuters interview about the future of the smart home with iRobot’s CEO Colin Angle that appears to have been misconstrued.
Which Roomba models send data?
iRobot has been offering robotic vacuum cleaners since 2002, so unless you have a relatively new model that has a built-in Wi-Fi connection, there’s no way for it to share any information with others.
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Usage data such as how long it cleaned, how far did it went, if it encountered any error codes and if it functioned correctly gets sent to their iRobot's cloud server so it can be processed and shown on the mobile app.
The 900 series devices also have a low-resolution black-and-white camera that helps it better navigate your home and create maps, but the camera has no connection to the internet and images captured by it are not sent to the cloud, according to iRobot’s Privacy and Data Sharing policy.
What you can do
If you’re concerned about data collected by your Roomba, there are simple steps that can be taken to manage your privacy.
If you don’t care about using iRobot's app, you can reset the device to clear out the Wi-Fi connection along with any stored data. If you never set up a Wi-Fi connection on your Roomba, nothing was ever shared.
If you do want to use the iRobot Home app but don’t want cleaning reports processed by their cloud server, you can turn it off by going to the Settings menu and toggling the "Clean Map Report" option.
If you want data that’s been shared in the past removed from iRobot’s Cloud servers, you can contact the company's customer service department to make the removal request.
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