Is your vacuum keeping your data private?

Amazon recently purchased iRobot, the Roomba vacuum maker, to enhance their smart home suite of products. But what effect can this have on keeping your data private?

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So, what information is your vacuum collecting? Most models keep details online of your home’s floorplan. Those with cameras are capturing photos of your home and its contents. It can also give information about your lifestyle and your daily living patterns. According to iRobot, the following data is also collected:

  • Billing information
  • Mailing address
  • Social media accounts, if you signed up through one
  • Any data from other devices you’ve connected to, including your smartphone

Combining this data with Amazon’s already extensive database of personal profiles can give them greater access to personalized marketing information. Amazon may be able to target their ads even more than they already do. Does this mean I need to give up the convenience of a robot cleaning machine? No, but as a user, you need to know what data can be collected and adjust your privacy settings as needed.

From a 2017 New York Times article, “But the data, if shared, could also be a windfall for marketers, and the implications are easy to imagine. No armchair in your living room? You might see ads for armchairs next time you open Facebook. Did your Roomba detect signs of a baby? Advertisers might target you accordingly.”

For more information, see the article at:

What skills are your students missing?

The AICPA and NASBA recently surveyed 300 U.S. accounting programs to show what technical skills students need as they enter the profession and what they may be missing. The survey focuses on topics such as data analytics, IT audit, cybersecurity, etc.

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The survey was done as part of the CPA Evolution Initiative which is transforming the licensure model for the CPA. The survey showed that 64% of accounting programs are teaching analytics, but less than half cover cybersecurity.

To see the full report of what technical topics are covered in accounting curriculum, see the full report at:

How watching cat videos is affecting the environment

The amount of streaming data as well as the large data storage centers are having an negative impact on the environment. Some experts believe the data technology industry rivals the airline industry on the environmental impact.

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With the number of new devices collecting data, the demands for electricity are set to increase significantly.

Tech companies are looking at how to curb the power usage from massive data centers. These centers not only expend large amounts of energy powering the data centers, but they also need significant air conditioning to cool the machines.

Read this article to find out how a Canadian company is looking to reduce the power usage while keeping us connected.

Help your data be understood

Communication is a vital component of data analysis. You can have the best analysis with visualization, but if no one understands it — who cares?

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This Harvard Business Review article give three key points to help your audience understand your data.

  1. Connect data to a relatable size
  2. Connect data to a relatable time
  3. Connect data to relatable things

To read more about how to make your data be understood, go to: