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Tue Jun 1, 2021, 03:21 PM

Amazon US customers have one week to opt out of mass wireless sharing

The proposal, called Amazon Sidewalk, involves the company’s devices being used as a springboard to build city-wide “mesh networks” that help simplify the process of setting up new devices, keep them online even if they’re out of range of home wifi, and extend the range of tracking devices such as those made by Tile.

The feature works by creating a low-bandwidth network using smart home devices such as Amazon Echoes and Ring security cameras. At its simplest, it means that 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. Other devices that don’t need a high-bandwidth connection, such as smart lights, pet locators or smart locks, can use Sidewalk all the time.

But Sidewalk has come under fire for the apparent lack of transparency with which Amazon has rolled out the feature, as well as the limited time available for users to complete the tricky process required to opt out. Other critics have expressed concerns that failing to turn the setting off could leave customers in breach of their internet service provider’s terms and conditions.

But the company’s plans have caused alarm among observers. Ashkan Soltani, a former chief technology officer of the US Federal Trade Commission, told the tech site Ars Technica: “In addition to capturing everyone’s shopping habits (from amazon.com) 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 a switch, all without even having to lay a single foot of fiber”. The feature may also break the terms and conditions of users’ internet connections, which do not allow such resharing, warned Lydia Leong, an analyst at Gartner.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jun/01/amazon-us-customers-given-one-week-to-opt-out-of-mass-wireless-sharing

So the "feature" has been built into all the devices they want to use, meaning all the devices already in homes as well as future purchased devices.
Meaning this has been a plan all along.

sort of the Bitcoin mining concept, sounds like.
Wonder if they can use my wi-fi even tho I don't have any devices..
oooops...the Fire tablet.....




31 replies, 2336 views

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Reply Amazon US customers have one week to opt out of mass wireless sharing (Original post)
dixiegrrrrl Jun 1 OP
eShirl Jun 1 #1
lagomorph777 Jun 1 #2
csziggy Jun 1 #3
dixiegrrrrl Jun 1 #13
csziggy Jun 1 #16
Amishman Jun 1 #4
CRK7376 Jun 1 #23
SKKY Jun 1 #5
GoCubsGo Jun 1 #6
dixiegrrrrl Jun 1 #14
GoCubsGo Jun 1 #18
dixiegrrrrl Jun 1 #19
GoCubsGo Jun 1 #20
FakeNoose Jun 1 #7
hlthe2b Jun 1 #8
dixiegrrrrl Jun 1 #17
JudyM Jun 1 #9
HipChick Jun 1 #24
Silver Gaia Jun 1 #10
dickthegrouch Jun 1 #11
twin_ghost Jun 1 #12
dalton99a Jun 1 #15
question everything Jun 1 #21
brooklynite Jun 1 #22
JCMach1 Jun 1 #25
dixiegrrrrl Jun 5 #26
dalton99a Jun 5 #27
Tarc Jun 5 #29
dalton99a Jun 5 #28
Tarc Jun 5 #30
lindysalsagal Jun 5 #31

Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 03:43 PM

1. I thought the first Amazon Echo ad was satire/sci-fi/dark humor.

Didn't anyone learn anything from science fiction?

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 03:45 PM

2. I'm glad I never bought any of their spy devices.

However, it is really odd that often times, some word I use in casual conversation suddenly appears in my YouTube recs... I wonder if my "smart" TVs are ever truly off. Or my phone...

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 03:52 PM

3. Even if I had any of their wireless devices sharing wouldn't work here

My house is too far from the road or any other houses for this to be effective. In fact we have trouble getting a wireless signal across the house so I had to set up a mesh network for that - and it does not extend to the porches or carport.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 08:22 PM

13. Same-ish here.



Poor wifi...sufficient to meet my needs, I do most of my video downloads after 8 pm, because it happens to fit neatly into my schedule.

But luckily, in this case at least, out town still does not have good wifi.
Pretty sure the roll out, at least for the near future, is gonna being urban based, and I wouldn't be surprised if the 5G network is planned to be a big part of that.

So, right now, we are protected by being in the backwoods.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #13)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 08:50 PM

16. There are advantages being in the country

With my house almost a quarter of a mile away from the road and farther from any other building. I can't even get a good cell phone signal here - the only way to use my cell phone at home is to go through my WiFi.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 03:59 PM

4. Lol, my wifi devices range don't even reach my property line.

That being said, I'll be disabling that shit.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 11:18 PM

23. Got you beat!

Our lousy internet service can't even provide coverage from the front of our house to the back of the house and our house is only 1700sqft...Forget about getting service in the garage which is about 75-100 feet from the house and absolutely nothing down in the barn, a whopping 30 yards from the back of the house.....At least my school gave me a hotspot for the first semester this year and I could teach my high school kids from the barn which had a monster chalk board from when my boys and daughter were younger, they liked to play and draw down there when they were young. Glad I never took it down. It was great for the first semester and then our school system realized how expensive HotSpots were and the teachers like me in semi-rural NC with crappy Windstream service...we had to turn in our hotspots and return to our classrooms minus the kids for several weeks and in March brought back the kids in stupid cohorts.....So at the end of the day we don't have ring doorbell, security cameras, or smart tvs, refrigs or stoves that you can turn of with your cell phones....but we do have five big barking hounds, barn attack cats, plenty of Wild Turkey (feathered kind versus the sipping kind), a beautiful red fox that has snagged a couple of our chickens and a pack of coyotes that run our creek nightly....but Eric the Donkey keeps the cows safe from the coyotes.....So I'm not too upset about ring technology and Amazon spying on our simple little place, oh yeah, one neighbor 150 yards from us and she has security camera, is a busy body with 7-8 horses and plenty of pasture, other neighbor is over a quarter mile from us....Peac, tranquility and crappy wifi!

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 04:02 PM

5. Well, they should disable by default and enable by choice...

...but it's very easy to turn of, so there is that.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 04:07 PM

6. I don't think it's on the tablets, unless they're hooked up to Echo/Ring.

I have a Fire tablet, too. I googled how to disable it, and there's no "Sidewalk" option on it. I don't have Echo or Ring, so I'm guessing it doesn't apply to stand-alone tablets? Thanks for the warning, though. I hadn't heard anything about this.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 08:25 PM

14. Fire here also.



The one lonely Amazon device in the house. With Alexa app turned off most of the time.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 09:06 PM

18. Yeah, I leave it off, too.

I never use it, and I was constantly hitting the "Alexa" button accidentally. Besides, when I asked "Is Cornpop a really bad dude?", it had no answer. How useless. My microwave can supposedly be used as an Amazon device, but it won't work with the tablet, without side-loading a questionable ap. I sure as hell wouldn't hook it up to an Echo, especially given this "Sidewalk" stuff.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #18)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 09:16 PM

19. Just a FYI



I have the Fire 9th generation tablet now. It has a few bells and whistles more than the 7th gen. that I had.
One of them is a built in app "Device Dashboard" which allows you to connect with your other
amazon toys...the Ring, the lamps, the fridge, anything with the smart plug.turn on Alexa and go thru that dashboard, tap, and it is supposed to connect you so that the Alexa/fire becomes the voice command center.

I don't have any of those toys, tho.

I DO have a friend does, lives alone, and is very happy with the toys, makes her life much easier in ways I understand.

Who knows, maybe when I get more creaky the convenience will become a blessing in disguise.

I'll just train Alexa to "turn on the *ucking* lamp.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #19)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 09:34 PM

20. Yeah, I have an 8th generation, but it has that, too.

It didn't come with it, but the software recently upgraded, so a lot of stuff is different than what I started with. I keep accidentally bringing up the dashboard. Really annoying. One of these days, I'll try the microwave again. It's a Toshiba, so who knows if it will ever work with the tablet. I do use the tablet as a back-up remote for my TV and Roku, though.

After you tell Alexa to turn on the lamp, be sure to tell her to fart. Be specific about type and number.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 04:36 PM

7. Anyone who uses Echo and/or Ring will have their privacy snatched

Amazon's plan is to share all photos and videos on a global network from private security cams and doorbell cams and speakers. I'm not a celebrity, but if I were, I'd want these devices out of my house immediately.

I can see why the police and federal investigators would LOVE this though.


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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 04:39 PM

8. I saw no possible way to "turn this off" except through an Amazon device.

So, is there "sharing" among account holder's wifi who do NOT own an Amazon fire tablet, echo or doorbell "Ring" device?

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #8)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 08:51 PM

17. Not any subject they are talking about, leastwise.


The fact that they are just now talking about an app they have already installed that we did not even know about raises a big red flag.
What else are they capable of doing?
I can "see" 2 of my neighbors wi-fi when I turn my machines on. I know one of them, they do not have any Amazon things, they have Macs. The other is new so dunno.
Everyone is password "protected" of course, for whatever good that may do in the future.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 04:39 PM

9. It says we can update preferences in the Control Center of the Ring app, but it's not showing up.

Why am I not surprised that opting out is not straightforward….

Thanks for posting this, dixiegrrrrl!

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Response to JudyM (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 11:26 PM

24. Alexa has been answering my Ring doorbell..

It delays the UPS or Fedex enough for me to actually get to the door, before they run back down the driveway with my package...

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 05:24 PM

10. It was pretty straightforward in the Alexa app. I did it a few months ago, and just double-checked,

The path in the Alexa app is: 1) "More" at bottom right in menu bar; 2) Settings; 3) Account Settings; 4) Amazon Sidewalk; 5) slide button to "Disabled."

I haven't read anything about Fire tablets being affected.

Here's another article: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/05/amazon-devices-will-soon-automatically-share-your-internet-with-neighbors/

ETA: Another article with a list of affected devices. It looks like it's just Echo, Ring, and something called Tile. Changing the setting in the Alexa app covers all Echo devices. Maybe the path to Sidewalk in Ring is similar.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2021/06/01/amazon-sidewalk-echo-devices-share-internet-june-8/5288353001/

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 05:35 PM

11. I hope "devices" was adequately defined.

The only Amazon things I have are the iPhone App and the Kindle app for iPhone. I always log out of everything after using them, and run a VPN on all my devices to further protect my data.

Even so, I've been receiving remarkably specific ads for things I just purchased (and therefore don't need ads for!).

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 05:45 PM

12. This is a great tool for pedos that share Child Porn

Just wait until dozens of innocent person homes are raided by the police for sharing child porn. This is not a smart idea.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 08:31 PM

15. Kick

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 09:47 PM

21. Is it only for Alexa? All we use Amazon is to order stuff and download books..

Oh, and we watched the Marvelous Mrs. Maizel on my desk computer

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 09:55 PM

22. No, Amazon customers using SPECIFIC Amazon products need to opt out.

If you buy products from Amazon, you don't need to worry.

If you have an Android phone, you don't need to worry.

This issue specifically relates to Smart Home products. If you don't use them you don't have to worry.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 1, 2021, 11:37 PM

25. I would lay odds this is a BETA test for Sidewalk as a Mesh network for a new Amazon Cell phone

that utilizes both MESH and 5G.

If it works, they can wipe out the telecoms selling phones with incredibly cheap monthly rates.

No need to rollout servers if you have millions of MESH servers already in-place.




https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-may-experiment-with-new-smartphone-after-fire-phone-disaster-2019-5

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Response to JCMach1 (Reply #25)

Sat Jun 5, 2021, 02:20 PM

26. Reminds me of TOR....

Tho might be fine for simple voice. 🤔

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Sat Jun 5, 2021, 02:49 PM

27. If you don't already have Alexa, you will have to install it just to turn Amazon Sidewalk off

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #27)

Sat Jun 5, 2021, 03:06 PM

29. If you do not have an Alexa, or one of the other Amazon devices (Ring, Echo, etc...)

then you have nothing to worry about. There is a lot of silly fearmongering going on around here about this, a level of technophobia I'm surprised to see in the DU.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Sat Jun 5, 2021, 02:55 PM

28. List of products:


Ring Floodlight Cam (2019)
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019)
Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019)
Echo (3rd gen and newer)
Echo Dot (3rd gen and newer)
Echo Dot for Kids (3rd gen and newer)
Echo Dot with Clock (3rd gen and newer)
Echo Plus (all generations)
Echo Show (2nd gen)
Echo Show 5, 8, 10 (all generations)
Echo Spot
Echo Studio
Echo Input
Echo Flex

(and ALL future similar devices)


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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Sat Jun 5, 2021, 03:08 PM

30. This is a level of technophobic fearmongering I'd expect to read in the FR, not in the DU

Amazon will not be stealing your family photos.
Pedos driving by your home will not infect your network with porn.

Great googly-moogly, people.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Sat Jun 5, 2021, 03:09 PM

31. Alexa? What position are my neighbors using tonight?

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