Is Your Robotic Vacuum Harming Your Personal Security? We Had A Look At It
Many American homeowners have been incorporating technology into their households for years now.
In fact, according to a report, it is expected that by this year, more than a quarter of all households in the United States will be considered smart homes.
The same report also suggests that there are more than 42 million smart homes in the country, which amount to more than 45 million smart home devices being used and incorporated into the average American homeowner’s lifestyle.
These smart homes contain a lot of smart devices ranging from laundry machines to refrigerators to security systems that are intended to make one’s life easier.
However, many experts have raised their concerns regarding these useful devices and how they handle a user’s privacy.
Most smart home devices collect data such as patterns of use to tailor fit a specific service to each user.
But, this is usually done covertly, and data is sent to the device’s manufacturer, where one does not entirely know how they are handled.
Recent studies show that the risks associated with privacy vary from one device to another.
For example, based on a report released by Consumer Reports, one device collects and processes data entirely different from others. In it, experts have put different robotic vacuums to the test.
What are Vacuum Robots, by the way?
A robotic vacuum is an automated way a homeowner can have their floors cleaned.
Depending upon the model and manufacturer, most of them are autonomous – meaning they can act on their own with some coming with self-learning capabilities that help them become more efficient with their tasks.
They are quieter and more compact compared to the traditional vacuum cleaner but cost much more.
But with additional features being introduced by different companies, robotic vacuums have been gaining popularity and wide acceptance amongst American households in the past years.
Per the same Consumer Reports findings, the issue of data privacy is dependent on the model and capabilities of a given robotic vacuum cleaner model.
They can be grouped into two categories – models that are not connected to Wi-Fi and those that have Wi-Fi access.
The distinction between the two is very important.
Robotic vacuum cleaners that are not connected to the Internet and are just fully automated do not pose any privacy risks to its user at all.
Nevertheless, the case becomes entirely different from those who gather and send user information over the web.
The situation is entirely different for the latter, and a lot of factors play in, such as data encryption, privacy settings options, etc.
Also, data handling, storage, and management vary between different companies.
With that being said, the report’s findings suggest that most robotic vacuum cleaners available in the market are safe and protect one’s data depending on the manufacturer’s policies.
iRobot vacuum cleaners get the highest rating in data security while Samsung, Shark, and Ecovacs come second.
At the end of the day, technology and security experts warn users to be very careful of their data.
Whether you own a robotic vacuum cleaner or any smart home device, one should limit the amount of data and personal information provided to companies to ensure maximum levels of security.
Additionally, each consumer should carefully read the product’s or service’s Terms and Conditions, most especially the sections and provisions about data collection and management, to know how your data will be handled before you consent to hand them over to these companies.
Specific queries about data privacy can also be sent to companies’ respective official representatives for they can shed light on a company’s specific data protection policies and protocols.
Editor’s Note on Vacuum Robot Might Be Sharing Your Data:
This article is published to inform you of the answer to the question of whether your personal robotic vacuum cleaner is a potential threat to your private life.
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