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Amazon Purchases Roomba As Experts Warn Of Privacy Concerns

Once nothing more than an online marketplace for anything and everything, Amazon grew into a massive corporation that expanded far beyond offering two-day shipping. Just within the last few years, Amazon moved into the movie industry, pulling in top talent from Hollywood that included Chris Pratt and Josh Brolin. Not only that, but CEO Jeff Bezos also explored space. But always looking to grow, expand, and dominate, on Friday, Amazon announced they purchased iRobot Corp. for a whopping $1.7 billion. The all-cash deal gave the company full control over its popular Roomba vacuum. And according to some, the move could be dangerous for consumers. 

Amazon once released their own smart vacuum called the Astro, which was promoted for being able to recognize faces and move between rooms without interference. Still, deeming the new purchase dangerous, Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, noted that the sale had more to do with consumer’s intimate details than another product on their site. “It’s about the company gaining still more intimate details of our lives to gain unfair market advantage and sell us more stuff.”

Given the capabilities behind the Roomba, Amazon’s newest product works much like Alexa and Ring. Connecting to both WiFi and smartphones, Roomba can help create a map of a person’s home and feed that information back to Amazon. The technology is so advanced, it can alert when furniture has been moved. Economist Raoul Pal explained, “With Ring, Alexa and now Roomba, Amazon tracks EVERYTHING that happens inside your house (even who visits you)”

Back in 2017, the CEO of iRobot, Colin Angle, hinted at a potential partnership with Google and Amazon, allowing them to purchase data from iRobot to help them market specific products to certain consumers. Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Jamie Williams warned, “Maps of the inside of your home can tell a lot about a person. For instance, how you lay out your living room could disclose whether watching TV is a central part of your life. It could disclose whether you have pets. How often you rearrange furniture. This information wouldn’t be worth a lot to advertisers if it didn’t reveal highly sensitive information about the inside of the home.”

Another expert, Rob Knox, who works with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, explained the purchase “may be the most dangerous, threatening acquisition in the company’s history.” He added it “is bad EVEN IF you’re only worried about whether the deal will hurt competition. Jeff Bezos has said that Amazon wants to buy its way to dominance. By snatching up Roomba and pairing it with its vast monopoly power fueled by its Prime system, it would do just that.”

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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 month ago

2 make Roomba a mobile spy, like Alexa, Very scary

DANIELISTICAL
DANIELISTICAL
1 month ago

WHEN does that ONE TRILLION $$ TAX CUT that you REPUBLCANS voted for going to kick in and help this country out…?

In 2007 and 2011 LAST YEAR JEFF BEZO PAID $0.oo (ZERO) INCOME TAX AT 0 % TOO
HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY AT WHAT PERCENT?
Here’s why the Top1%, CEO’s and Corps SHOULD pay higher taxes:
1) MILITARY
Defending the country benefits everyone; but it benefits the rich
more, because they have MORE PROPERTY to defend.
-Same principle as insurance: if you have a bigger, more valuable
house, you pay more to insure it.
2) NATION’S INFRASTRUCTURE:
Federal roads & bridge, airports, Port Authority, Coast Guard,
National Guard: benefit interstate commerce and people who can travel,
not the p00r
– The MORE business you own the MORE YOU benefit from Nation’s
Infrastructure.
– Look how much BP has been using our Coast Guard & National Guard.
3) ENERGY:
Energy is used disproportionately by the rich and industry;
therefore, they should pay more in taxes for Energy Consumptio¬¬n
4) PUBLIC EDUCATION
Their companies that benefit from a well-educated public.
(If you don’t think that’s a benefit, go start up an engineering
firm, or even a factory in a 3rd world country with an uneducated CEO)
5) CASH/SUBSIDIES = CORP BAILOUTS
Large Corps GET Over $92 Billion Taxpayer Cash/Subsidies Yearly:
– Taxpayer Cash/Subsidies EQUALS Corporate Bailout
– Large US and Foreign Corporations that are posting Historic
Record Profits Quarterly and, at the very same time,
—– those same Corps shipping US jobs to overseas sweatshops
——those same Corps receive over $92 Billion of Taxpayer money in
CASH/SUBSIDIES Yearly.”

Bill Walsh
Bill Walsh
1 month ago
Reply to  DANIELISTICAL

I’m no multimillionaire. Just an average working Joe. For nearly twenty years I paid NO income tax, legally! There are loopholes in the tax code that allow ANYONE, not JUST millionaires, to avoid paying excess amounts of taxes. Anyone that does not use the tax code to their advantage is a complete idiot.

Greenman21
Greenman21
1 month ago

Amazon is patently an extremely “woke” outfit, devoted to itself and its own interests exclusively. Anyone not understanding this basic fact set about this behemoth is in danger of being steam-rollered by this unseeing and outwardly uncaring nuclear age steam roller.
How much is YOUR “convenience” worth ? Your “Freedom” ? !!