Amazon Sidewalk launched Tuesday, and those who have privacy concerns about their internet connection should opt out immediately.
Sidewalk uses Ring security cameras, along with Amazon Echo devices, to create a shared wireless network, The Washington Post reported.
Devices that qualify automatically connect to the system, which would essentially create low bandwidth communal access to the internet, as it would use a part of any available bandwidth on neighbors’ WiFi.
This is considered useful if someone’s WiFi stops working, as it might allow for them to continue to use their devices with Sidewalk.
But there are obviously serious security concerns about hackers and amateur sleuths, even though Amazon says it will be using “three layers of encryption to ensure data is visible only to the intended party,” according to a company pamphlet.
However, experts warn that no level of encryption is completely foolproof.
“I haven’t seen very many triple-protected, triple-encrypted systems out there,” technology analyst Patrick Moorhead told The Post. “That said, there’s no infallible system.”
“It is slowly eliminating the notion of ‘off-the-grid,’” said Matthew Guariglia, a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “As long as Amazon is storing all that data … all of that can be accessible to police. It’s impossible to think of things as just private or public surveillance anymore.”
There is also the possibility of the consumer being charged for more data than they actually use under this program, as Amazon would be sharing a small part of it with the user’s community.
Once they are on Amazon Sidewalk, they can use the slider to disable the use of their WiFi network for the program.
Here is how to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk:
Start by opening the Alexa app or Ring app and clicking more on the bottoms right.
Watch the video below for the rest! @WPBF25News pic.twitter.com/d0gIcep640
— Ana Espinosa (@WPBF_Ana) June 8, 2021
Amazon Sidewalk has now launched, meaning everyone with an #Amazon device will automatically be opted in.
If you want to opt out, here’s how 👇 https://t.co/hSG1DDuctS
— ExpressVPN (@expressvpn) June 9, 2021
The fact that Amazon would do this automatically is completely unethical.
Millions of Americans use these products for their homes, and the vast majority will likely be unaware of how to opt out of this new system unless they happen to stumble upon an article about it.
A survey of approximately 1,500 Americans conducted by The Zebra, an insurance comparison site, revealed that 87 percent of Americans do not know what data their doorbell camera collects.
Big Tech companies have consistently proved that they have a blatant disregard for privacy in the name of progress and are rarely held accountable.
Free market innovation is obviously important, but the privacy rights of an individual trump the needless desires of an out-of-touch software developer in Silicon Valley or Seattle.
While Amazon Sidewalk may have its benefits, and some people may want to remain part of the service, the company needs to make its consumers well aware of the risks associated with the program.
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