Amazon Will Soon Share Your WiFi With Everyone Unless You Opt Out by June 8

Warnings are being issued after it was revealed that Amazon is planning to use customers devices to start sharing their WiFi networks that will allow anyone to use it. Unless you opt out by June 8th, everyone else will be automatically enrolled into the program to start sharing their WiFi to the public.

It's called Amazon Sidewalk, and it is being described as "the company's devices being used as a springboard to build city-wide 'mesh networks'". That means if you have Amazon devices like the Echo or Ring doorbells, those devices will start sharing your WiFi.

Alex Hern of The Guardian writes:

The feature works by creating a low-bandwidth network using smart home devices such as Amazon Echoes and Ring security cameras. A new Echo can set itself up using a neighbour's wifi, or a security camera can continue to send motion alerts even if its connection to the internet is disrupted, by piggybacking on the connection of another camera across the street.

Critics are wary of Amazon Sidewalk, saying it's opening the doors to more privacy invasion and the fact that Amazon is starting the program quietly. Although there is a FAQ on the Amazon website regarding Sidewalk, there are still questions that remain in regards to the full scope of what it is doing.

Hern adds, "Users can disable Sidewalk in the settings section of the Alexa or Ring apps, but have until 8 June to do so. After that, if they have taken no action, the network will be turned on and their devices will become 'Sidewalk Bridges.'"

Ashkan Soltani, a former chief technology officer of the US Federal Trade Commission tells Ars Technica, "In addition to capturing everyone's shopping habits (from and their internet activity (as AWS is one of the most dominant web hosting services) ... now they are also effectively becoming a global ISP with a flick of the switch, all without even having to lay a single foot of fiber."

Apple has already implemented a similar service with their range of AirTag item trackers which can connect to the Internet as long as a compatibly iPhone is nearby that they can connect to, regardless of the phone's owner.

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