Your Coffeemaker Saw you Break a Precept

In the news today, the company that makes the robot vacuum Roomba has been quietly gathering data about your home: " The company behind the Roomba vacuum, iRobot, has grand plans for its robot cleaners. While two Roomba models are now mapping the interiors of homes to more efficiently hoover up dust and dirt, those intimate maps, the company hopes, could soon be sold as personalized, data-rich products to giant tech companies, seizing a bigger role in the burgeoning market for “smart” devices in the web-connected household."


I have always been suspicious of my coffee maker. It knows when I wake up, and how much coffee I drink. It seems to communicate with the refrigerator, and knows when I eat something after midday (OK, I eat some cheese at night. So sue me! ). Lately, I have been getting ads on Facebook for coffee bean delivery services. :wink:

Interesting how a simple device that vacuums your room can literally inform data collectors about where you live, the size of your home, and may even know other stuff about you. What other devices of the future might be transmitters of your personal data to vendors, or others?

I don’t have a Roomba, but I have a broom. As far as I can tell, it is keeping quiet about my habits.


We are trading our freedom for the comfort. The Choice is yours.


Thank you for the laugh!

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Yes, this is scary. IMHO people should not allow any internet connected device in their home apart from an actual computer or phone.

It is one of those things that you think, “Oh, never mind, I have nothing to hide.”

Really? Your vacuum cleaner knows that on Tuesday, at 6.15, you went to get dinner and see a movie with your partner, leaving your 15 year old daughter alone in the home until you returned at 10.30.

How will it know that? Well, think about it. If it is detecting things, it must also detect the change in position of things, i.e. motion. If there are three people in the home normally, it can detect three places where motion occurs. So it knows that there are three sources of motion; and two of those motion sources move to the front door, and then out of range. Only one remains.

That’s already a pretty strong indication of who is in your home, and plenty of burglars would love to know that stuff. But if you add that to search history, purchases, restaurant bookings, social media, and so on, it very quickly paints a detailed picture.

All this information is susceptible to leaks, all of it is for sale, and all of it will be used in ways hostile to you. The entire industry of Big Data exists precisely to organize and make sense of this information for marketing and other purposes. Why do you think the intelligence agencies want to get all this stuff, even to the extent of breaking encryption to do it?

We have all seen how frequently personal data has been leaked. Crikey, a few days ago Sweden managed to leak personal data for almost all its citizens. Sweden! This is what happens even when you have the best practices, least corruption, and best history of reliability, managed by an accredited and respected government agency. They just leaked, among other things, detailed personal information on people in witness protection, specialist military, police suspects, and on and on it goes. This stuff was simply emailed out and available for years. It still is!

If that’s what happens with the Swedish Transport Agency, what do you think it’s like with the billions of leaky, poorly designed, insecure, not updated, crap gadgets pouring out of China?

The only rational assumption at this point in time is that all data is likely to be leaked and sold on the dark web.

Criminals who purchase this data will know when you leave home and when you are likely to return. And they will know that your daughter is home alone.

Do you still have nothing to hide?

If you ever think about getting any internet-connected device for your home, apart from an actual PC, you need to read this first:

And when you need to clean your house, well, this has been good enough for monks for 2500 years.



…and I was using my coffee maker as comic relief, and with Bhante’s excellent link to “Internet of Shit,” there is this:

" So at this point, the operator mentions that he could really use some coffee. So I tell him it’s ok for him to get some coffee while I try to figure out why these computers keep getting reinfected. Only then he tells me, he wasn’t able to get coffee, because all the coffee machines were showing the same ransomware attack message.
So long story short, the coffee machines are supposed to be connected to their own isolated WiFi network, however, the person installing the coffee machine connected the machine to the Internal control room network…"

In reality, I use a French Press. image

No WIFI coffee. After reading “Internet of Shit,” that cave in Thailand just starts sounding better and better.

No it won’t.
I have switched on my other robot it will act as me (decoy) in my absence.
I can check what is happening at home in my mobile phone.
I have a private security firm keep eye on my house.
I am in neighbourhood watch so all my neighbours know that I am not home.
I have three dogs and a donkey.



Hi, I’m a bad guy! :spy:

Excellent, another attack surface. Let me just check that then. Huh. It’s only been online for an hour, and it’s already been compromised by a botnet. Congratulations, your robot is now part of a distributed swarm of supercomputing power available to anyone for anything. Compromise a country’s internet? Sure! Send a billion spam messages? We got you covered!

And that’s just leaked. Did you even check who made that app you use for that? I bought the entire data logs from that app for $20. :dollar:

Nice. Let’s see if they use default passwords on their network. Let me just … and I’m in! Turns out, private security guards are not the best IT experts in the world. Who knew? I mean, it’s not like they bother with competent security protocols even for bigwigs, so what do they care about a Joe Shmoe like you?

Thanks so much. So they’ll be messaging each other about who’s home and who isn’t? It’s really nice to see a neighborhood where people keep an eye out for each other like this. I mean, to be able to see not only the cameras in the home, but also the ones on the outside? It’s like you did it all just for me! :cake:

Please tell me you chipped them! :fries:

Oh, I forgot to tell you I have a four-metre wall around my house.

Oh well, that’s it, I’m beaten. Like most bad guys, I’m Mexican, and as is well known, we haven’t invented ladders yet. A wall will stop me for sure!

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Some of these machines have their uses.


Indeed! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Now they advertise a new home security devise called video door bell.
If some one come 9 meters from my house this will ring my mobile phone with the picture.
Now I will definitely can have a secure home.
Perhaps not having a home could be the best security.