Amazon customers have until the end of the day on Tuesday, June 8th, to opt out of a proposal that could violate your privacy.
It's called Amazon Sidewalk. It's a proposal that would turn every Echo speaker, Ring security camera, or Alexa device into a shared wireless network. The benefit is your device would work even if you lose Wi-Fi. However, the program has been criticized for its lack of transparency.
“All of these devices can talk to each other, whether it’s yours in your house, or your neighbors’ down the street, and that’s where the issue lies,” The High Tech-Texan Michael Garfield said. “Because if neighbors, or even the company itself, has more access to your data, that could be a big issue.”
Garfield says big companies like Amazon are trying to build their own large scale “mesh” networks.
“[Amazon has] a wealth of information on us: who knocks on our doors, who peers into our living rooms. If they are privy to this, and we share relatively the same network with our neighbors, there is a possibility our neighbors and people who are driving by can have access to our information,” he explained.
If you don't want it, customers have to opt out. Users can disable sidewalk in the settings section of the Alexa or Ring apps.