iRobot reassures users after robot vac security scare

Following scares in the press suggesting that robot vacuums could pose a security threat, iRobot has reassured its customers that it would only share data with their express permission.

Colin Angle, chief executive of robotic vacuum manufacturer iRobot, is reported as telling Reuters that the company was interested in making smart homes more efficient by sharing the data gathered with the “big three”.

“There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” he said.

The company’s Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner contains sensors that enable them to build a map of its surroundings and know its location within them.

Some have suggested that opening up this private data to other companies, to improve product interconnectivity for the smart home, could increase the chances of hackers gaining access to the layout of a person’s home.

In a statement to the Press Association, Mr Angle said: “iRobot takes privacy and security of its customers very seriously. We will always ask your permission to even store map data. Right now, iRobot is building maps to enable the Roomba to efficiently and effectively clean your home.”