Amazon knows what you are interested in. (Amazon Search)

Amazon knows what you buy. (Amazon Purchase)

Amazon knows who is at your front door and in the surrounding space. (Ring)

Amazon can hear what you are saying. (Alexa)

Now, Amazon can map the interior of your house. (iRobot)

Will Amazon capture your data along with your dirt and dust?

Amazon and iRobot Sign an Agreement for Amazon to Acquire iRobot

Amazon and iRobot announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire iRobot. iRobot has a history of making customers’ lives easier with innovative cleaning products for the home. iRobot has continued to innovate with every product generation, solving hard problems to help give customers valuable time back in their day.

“We know that saving time matters, and chores take precious time that can be better spent doing something that customers love,” said Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices. “Over many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive—from cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the collection bin. Customers love iRobot products—and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.” <Source>

Consider the capabilities of the iRobot Roomba j7 Series…

  • Internet connectivity with access to your home network behind your firewall.
  • The capability of mapping your home.
  • Image recognition.
  • It can be remotely interrogated and controlled.
  • Connectivity with other third-party devices.

The j7+ is the first model with iRobot's PrecisionVision Navigation technology, a combination of hardware and software that allows it to recognize obstacles in its cleaning path in real time and automatically avoid them. iRobot moved the camera from the top of the robot, where it's located on the s9+, to the front, giving it a wider field of view, and allowing it to see objects on the floor. The robot then uses artificial intelligence software to identify hazards and reroute itself around them. 

iRobot says it has already trained its PrecisionVision Navigation machine learning algorithms to identify phone cords, power cables, and pet waste, using hundreds of millions of images crowdsourced from its customers who have opted in to contribute to its database. In the future, the company plans to expand the object recognition library to include other pitfalls that might prevent the robot from successfully docking after a cleaning job, including shoes and socks.

From there, you need to download the iRobot Home app (available for Android and iOS) and create an account if you don't already have one. When you first sign into the app, it asks for permission to find and connect to devices on your local network; press OK. Then, press the menu icon in the top left corner of the app and select Add a Robot. When it finds your Roomba j7+, press Set Up. The app then brings up a Wi-Fi screen where you must select and sign in to your home network.

After that, the app instructs you to press the button on top of the robot to connect it to your phone. Once the connection is successful, the app will ask you to name the robot.

At this point in the setup process, I got a pop-up notification from the Amazon Alexa app informing me that the Roomba j7+ automatically connected to the virtual assistant via the iRobot Home skill, which I had previously enabled when testing an earlier model. I also had no problem connecting it with Google Assistant via the Google Home app (tap the plus sign in the upper left corner > Set up device > Works with Google > iRobot Smart Home, and follow the on-screen instructions to link your accounts).

When mapping your home, the j7+ automatically divides your floor plan into multiple rooms. After this you can edit, add, or delete the boundary lines as needed, as well as label each room on the map.

The fundamental question facing consumers is how much privacy, safety, and security are you willing to compromise for convenience, ease, comfort, and peer pressure?

Only a few decades ago and before the widespread use of the internet and cellular phones, the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of most industrialized countries, monarchies, and dictatorships were obsessed with building dossiers on its citizens and others of interest – a time-consuming, costly process.

Most intelligence officers could not even imagine that individuals would be willing to freely share the most private and sometimes intimate details of their personal and professional lives.

And until the advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, and mass storage capabilities, agencies lacked the capacity to turn widely disparate and separated data points into a cohesive dossier that documented the life and location of innocent individuals.

Now the authorities can use warrantless geolocation, facial recognition, and license-plate readers to identify criminals and witnesses to criminal activities,

Remember this July 24, 2017, Reuters article?

Roomba vacuum maker iRobot betting big on the 'smart' home

Smart home lighting, thermostats and security cameras are already on the market, but Colin Angle, chief executive of Roomba maker iRobot Corp says they are still dumb when it comes to understanding their physical environment. He thinks the mapping technology currently guiding top-end Roomba models could change that and is basing the company's strategy on it.

Angle told Reuters that iRobot, which made Roomba compatible with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant in March, could reach a deal to share its maps for free with customer consent to one or more of the Big Three in the next couple of years. Angle added the company could extract value from those agreements by connecting for free with as many companies as possible to make the device more useful in the home.

Amazon declined to comment, and Apple and Google did not respond to requests for comment.

Guy Hoffman, a robotics professor at Cornell University, said detailed spatial mapping technology would be a “major breakthrough” for the smart home.

With regularly updated maps, Hoffman said, sound systems could match home acoustics, air conditioners could schedule airflow by room and smart lighting could adjust according to the position of windows and time of day.

Companies like Amazon, Google and Apple could also use the data to recommend home goods for customers to buy, said Hoffman.

Angle said iRobot would not sharing data without its customers’ permission, but he expressed confidence most would give their consent in order to access the smart home functions.  <Source>


Bottom line…

In essence, your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, 4th Amendment rights governing search and seizure, and 14th Amendment right of due process have been severely eroded and rendered null and void in some cases.

It is up to you to take action, heeding the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” The same goes double for convenience and ego-driven one-upmanship of peer pressure.

And, can you trust Amazon, the holders of the keys to the kingdom, to resist administrative subpoenas and legally-issued warrants to notify you before giving up your data? Or the former intelligence and law enforcement personnel who are embedded in Amazon with loyalty to their old agencies?

Big brother is watching, and you have given him permission in the nearly invisible unilateral one-way terms of service/privacy agreements when you use an electronic device where you purchase the hardware but only license the software.

Can the Roomba be hacked? Can the Roomba leak data to third-party devices? Does the Roomba require patching and security updates? Can the police access it after a robbery? Can insurance companies use it to verify home contents? Who knows!

We are so screwed until our digital protections align with our analog laws.


“Nullius in verba”-- take nobody's word for it!
"Acta non verba" -- actions not words

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS