ScaleAI’s privacy invasion: How the company watches you in the toilet through robot vacuums under the guise of training AI
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iRobot’s’smart vacuum cleaner’ scans your photos for AI training
Vacuum cleaner periodically captures your toilet photos and send them to Scale AI
As many people now know, AI can be useful, but it can also be used to breach your privacy or for other nefarious purposes. One of the latest examples of employing AI to invade one’s privacy is ScaleAI, a company that has been caught training its AI by watching people through their robot vacuums.
This is a serious matter because it not only violates privacy but also puts safety at risk. If you have an iRobot vacuum, there is a good chance that the company has footage of you in your most private moments.
We all know that companies are collecting our data. But a new report from TechnologyReview shows that some companies are going to extreme lengths to gather even more data, even at the cost of their customers’ privacy.
According to the report, ScaleAI, a company that works with some of the biggest names in tech, has been using data from iRobot’s robot vacuums to collect data from people’s homes. The data is then used to train AI algorithms. And yes, this includes data from people using the toilet.
ScaleAI denies that it is doing anything wrong, saying that the data is collected anonymously and is not linked to any individual. However, privacy experts are concerned that this kind of data collection could be used to track people’s movements and even spy on them.
The iRobot Roomba J7 series vacuum cleaner periodically takes photos while cleaning
The smart gadget’s proprietary software sends photos to the corporation’s servers over the Internet. iRobot Corporation, in turn, uses photos of your apartment for AI training to distinguish individual things in the room.
During this processing, iRobot sends your photos to a third-party company, Scale AI, where they are viewed by real people and labeled objects for the purpose of compiling a dataset.
One of the employees of Scale AI thought it was funny that a smart vacuum cleaner took a picture of her owner riding a toilet, and he decided to share this photo on Facebook.
After some time, more and more people looked at the photo, reaching both the owner of the robot and the journalists. We urge you to contact ScaleAI and iRobot and demand that they stop this invasive practice immediately. We also recommend that you boycott their products and find a better, more ethical company to buy from.
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