Amazon Is Buying Roomba-Maker iRobot

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If you're the sort of person who thinks Amazon doesn't know enough about your everyday life, you might want to take a seat. The layout of your home could soon find its way into Amazon's data banks. The company — which currently has information about its customers' spending habits, reading preferences, family connections, speech patterns, fitness levels, dietary choices, musical tastes, trivia abilities, pants size, and home address — could soon add the placement of their coffee tables to its vast archives. The online shopping giant has announced that it has entered into a merger agreement with iRobot, the company that manufactures the popular Roomba brand of smart vacuum cleaners.

There are already concerns about what kind of data some of Amazon's products, like Alexa and the upcoming Amazon Astro, can collect and what happens to that data afterward. It is possible to request and download the data Amazon has compiled about you, and the amount they have on file may come as a surprise. EcomCrew's Dave Bryant did just that and found the company had 1.28 gigabytes of information about him on file — most of which came from smart speakers.

Roomba vacuums need a floor plan of the area they are meant to operate in. The vacuum will usually work this out itself and then store the area it has mapped out so it can operate more efficiently on future runs. Now that Amazon is about to own iRobot, it's only natural that those concerned with data sharing with Amazon would question what's about to happen with the data their vacuums have been sucking up.

Amazon's acquisition and what it includes

Co-founder and CEO of iRobot, Colin Angle, has previously spoken on the record to reassure users about the safety of their data. He claims customer data should be "controlled by the customer and not as a data asset of a corporation to exploit," data would not be sold to third parties, and communication between the company's devices and other smart products would be secure. It remains to be seen if Amazon will carry on this policy.

According to Businesswire, Amazon will be paying around $61 a share to acquire iRobot, and will face a total bill of $1.7 billion. The figure includes debts the robotic vacuum manufacturer has acquired. On the face of it, things don't seem likely to change too much at iRobot in the short term. Colin Angle is set to stay on as CEO, the company will maintain its name, and Amazon seems to be looking more towards collaboration with iRobot rather than consumption of the company in its entirety.

Although the price has been set and the terms have been agreed upon, the deal still isn't complete. It is still subject to approval from iRobot's shareholders and other conditions.