Although the little household helper makes his rounds in the house inconspicuously, you should be careful – someone could be watching.
vacuum robot are quite helpful household helpers: With their built-in cameras, they can remove ground debris and crumbs independently and avoid obstacles. To do this, they record their surroundings and upload the images to a cloud. Have you ever thought that not only your furniture, but also you could be on these pictures – possibly in “very private” situations?
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Posted to private social media groups
This is exactly what happened to a woman from Venezuela in 2020, like MIT Technology Review reported. The vacuum robot Roomba J7 from the company iRobot, the world’s largest supplier of vacuum cleaner robots, filmed the young woman when she was on the Toilette sat. Unfortunately for the woman, the device was a developer version whose images were sent to the Scale AI company, where people manually evaluated the images to artificial intelligence to improve the devices. Unfortunately, the pictures did not stay with Scale AI, but were reposted in private social media groups. A clear breach of contract on the part of Scale AI. Because data protection agreements had been made in advance, which were intended to prevent such situations. iRobot has now ended working with the company.
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iRobot is not at fault
However, iRobot cannot be made available for this, because all testers had previously given their written consent for recordings of the environment to be transmitted to Scale AI for training purposes. According to iRobot, the devices were affixed with a bright green sticker that read “Video recording in progress,” and it was up to the paid data collectors to “remove anything they deem sensitive from the room where the robot works – including Kinder“.
Although the little household helper makes its rounds in the house inconspicuously, one should be careful, advises Jessica Vitak, information scientist and professor in the Department of Communications and the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. “It’s a lot easier for me, a sweet little one vacuum cleaner accept walking through my space as someone walking through my house with a camera.” So remember: If a device has a camera and internet connection, you should assume that someone could be watching.